Next Generation LIBS Spectrometer

  • In certain situations it is desirable to determine the elementary composition of a sample, for example in mining, medical and environmental studies. With Lased Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), the elementary composition of a sample can be determined just by using light. With a LIBS instrument one can quickly and accurately determine whether your sample contains enough ore to be mined, whether your blood contains certain minerals or whether there are polluted elements in the ground.

    036(TNO LIBS spectrometer developed for the search for life on Mars)

    The TNO LIBS spectrometer offers significant advantages over current LIBS spectrometers. The TNO LIBS spectrometer is smaller, more robust and more sensitive than other LIBS spectrometers. In particular because of its high sensitivity, the TNO LIBS spectrometer can be applied to determine very low concentrations and it can operate faster than competing instruments.

  • These unique properties open a whole new area of special applications. In general, LIBS spectrometers offer advantages over another ways to determine the elementary composition, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF). LIBS can detect the twelve lightest elements of the periodic table of elements, whereas XRF cannot. LIBS does not require sample preparation, which is still necessary when using XRF. And LIBS can be remotely applied, which makes it possible to integrate it in existing instrumentation and therefore ideal for Industrial applications.

    Advantages of TNO LIBS spectrometers

    • Smaller
    • More robust
    • More sensitive
    • Applicable to very low concentrations
    • Faster
    • Functional Characteristics of the LIBS spectrometer
    • Spectral range: 250-820 nm
    • Resolution: 0.2 nm to 0.3 nm
    • F-number: f/2
    • Slit size: 50 μm
    • Size: 149×90×125 mm
    • Temperatur reistance: 10° C to 20° C

    Examples of application

    TNO has applied the LIBS spectrometer in various settings:

    • The TNO LIBS spectrometer was designed and built to look for the presence of life on Mars as part of the ESA Aurora program.
    • TNO applied the LIBS spectrometer within the mining industry to determine the grade within incoming ore.
    • TNO worked together with the Ministry of Defense to identify roadside bombs with LIBS over distances of more than 10 metres.
    • TNO applied LIBS to measure the concentration ratios of Sodium (Na), Potassium (K) and Calcium (Ca) in dialysate (the cleaning fluid used during kidney dialysis).