LAES (SPARK emission spectrometer with laser ablation)

SPARK emission spectrometer with laser ablation

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LAES, spark emission spectrometer with laser ablation, allows analyzing a wide range of samples. The specialty of this instrument consists in using a hybrid spectra excitation source. Ablation (sample coring and core vapor delivery to the analytical range) is performed by laser (so called laser spark).

This solution allows analyzing various samples, thus offering user features that are close to those of traditional laser spectrometers.

Spark excitation is induced by a condensed electrical spark which can be adjusted much more accurately compared to laser spark. This spectra excitation approach allows many fold improvement of the metrological performance of the instrument without prejudicing traditional laser flexibility.

This hybrid laser and spark emission spectrometer combines the advantages of laser, spark and arc spectrometers, yet is free of any of their disadvantages. Analytical reliability and repeatability of a spark spectrometer.

Versatile task range of an arc spectrometer and easy sample preparation and ability to analyze miniature and heterogeneous samples as a laser instrument.


The instrument detects spectral lines within 185-930 nm range, including the lines of alkaline (Li, Na, K, Rb) and alkaline earth (Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba) elements. The operating spectral range is quite extensive. At the same time, due to the unique spectrograph setup procedure, its resolution comes close to the theoretically possible limit (due to optical unit dimensions).

LAES model is designed for express spectral analysis of non-conductive materials, element analysis of solid samples (glass, ceramic, plastic, metal, alloy, granite, etc.), various pressed powders (including soil, rock, geological specimen, etc.). The applications of this spectrometer include microanalysis of heterogeneous samples (both superficially and depth-wise) and irregularly shaped micro samples.

It can also be applied in ferrous, non-ferrous and powder metallurgy, metal science, mining, concentrating and processing industry, geology, production of construction materials, production of ultra pure materials, environmental protection, agricultural and food industry, forensic and pharmacological laboratories, etc. The key components of the product offer some unique features.

Special features

The specialty of the spectrum excitation source results from the following principle underlying its operation. The analyzed sample is placed on a movable 3-axis table. The operator focuses the laser beam on the predefined point.

The powerful laser impulse effect on the surface of the sample induces analyzed material flame (laser ablation). Inside LAES the flame material rises from the surface of the sample and arrives into the analytical section.

A spark generator induces potential difference on the electrodes resulting in a spark discharge in an environment consisting of buffer gas (air or argon) and test sample ablation products. Excitation of test material atoms and ions occurs in the electric discharge, and their spectrum is further captured by the detectors and saved in the registration system.

  • Spectrograph 2S36501633:
    • the tandem design of this model is the most efficient solution for wide range high illumination spectrographs;
    • premium holographic concave diffraction grating;
    • our know-how allows achieving virtually utmost spectral resolution performance for this class of spectrographs (from 0.007 nm within 185-330 nm range);
    • exceptional thermal stability of the settings.
  • The registration system digitizes the linear CCD analog signals in 16-bit format and saves the output in the internal memory:
    • digital signal pre-processing;
    • LAES features a registration system supporting up to 24 linear CCD units;
    • synchronized processing of all linear CCD signals allows subsequent subsequen correlation processing of data;
    • the registration system circuit board is designed to resist harsh operating environments, i.e. vicinity to powerful EMI sources (spark, arc, HF and SHF discharge generators) or operation in low pressure environment (as low as 0.001 mBar) which causes reduced heat exchange.
  • LAES spectrometers operate on the latest version of WindowsXP/7/10 compatible «PPM Pro» software package:
    • spectrum excitation source and registration system control;
    • three user access levels for various operator skills, from routine measurements (beginner lab technician level) to creation of new and revision of the existing analytical programs (for highly skilled spectral analysts);
    • spectra data storage and image output with easy navigation, spectral line identification, etc.;
    • an extensive spectral line database for identification and qualitative tests;
    • personified adjustment for background amount and behavior on line by line basis for signal detection net of unwanted plasma emission, which is beneficial for sensitivity and accuracy;
    • use of several analytical lines for each test element, which by default expands the dynamic concentration range hundred and thousand fold, thus delivering virtually unlimited capabilities for analyzing the maximum concentrations of impurities;
    • single and dual point recalibration.


Concentration test range, % from 10-5 – 10-4 to double digit values
Random relative error (subject to measurement conditions), % 5 – 15
Laser ablation unit Laser type YAG:Nd
Wavelength, nm 1064
Pulse time, up to 100 ms
Energy, J/pulse 0.1 - 1.0
Repeat frequency, Hz 0.1 - 0.3
Spectrum excitation source Discharge type High voltage spark
Voltage, kV 4 - 10
Operating spectrum range, nm 185 – 930
Average spectral resolution, nm range, nm  
185 – 330 0.007 - 0.01
330 – 930 0.03 - 0.05
Average inverse linear variance, nm/mm range, nm  
185 – 330 0.56
330 – 930 1.8
Photo sensors (TCD1304DG , linear CCD detectors by TOSHIBA), units max. 24
Power supply (220+22-33) V, (50±2) Hz
Max. power consumption, W 250
Max. weight, kg 60

Metrological specifications

LAES «3σ» detecting sensitivity in element spectral analysis of most samples ranges from below 10-5 % (0.1 g/MT) to 10-4 % (1 g/MT). This approach allows potential further reduction (improvement) of detecting sensitivity at least ten fold. We are now developing such solutions.

Concentration test range for various samples from (10-5 – 10-4) % to double digit % values at 5-15% random relative error (subject to measurement conditions).

So far, laser spark spectrum analysis technique has been used for testing various real samples, from content rates of toxic elements and heavy metals in the environment (including aerosol component content in the air), food raw materials, food products and drugs, to REE and precious metal content in the test samples. The minimum content rates reasonably detected (5-15% error) in real polyelemental samples (not to be confused with detection limits) are quoted in the summary table below:

Item Element Wavelength, nm Minimum content, mg/g (10-4 %)
1 Ag 328.068 0.1 – 1.0
2 Al 309.271 1.0
3 As 193.759 0.8 – 2.0
4 Au 267.594 1.0
5 B 208.957 1.0
6 Ba 455.403 1.0
7 Be 313.107 1.0
8 Bi 206.17 1.0
9 Br 478.55 1.0-3.0
10 C 247.856 0.1
11 Ca 315.887 0.1-1.0
12 Cd 214.438 0.5
13 Ce 418.660 8.0-10.0
14 Cl 335.339 10.0
15 Co 228.616 3.0-5.0
16 Cr 313.205 1.0
17 Cs 894.359 1.0
18 Cu 324.754 1.0-3.0
19 Dy 394.468 5.0-10.0
20 Er 381.967 1.0-3.0
21 Eu 381.967 0.8-1.0
22 Fe 234.349 1.0
23 Gd 407.870 20.0-30.0
24 Ge 303.906 1.0
25 I 206.163 3.0-5.0
26 K 404.721 10.0
27 La 408.672 1.0-3.0
28 Li 670.776 1.0-3.0
29 Mg 285.213 1.0-3.0
30 Mn 403.076 3.0-5.0
31 Mo 313.259 1.0-2.0
32 Na 330.237 1.0
33 Nd 463.424 5.0
34 Ni 361.939 3.0-5.0
35 P 213.618 2.0
36 Pb 405.782 1.0-2.0
37 Pd 247.642 1.0
38 Pr 495.137 10.0-15.0
39 Pt 265.9 1.0
40 Sb 206.833 5.0-10.0
41 Se 203.985 10.0
42 Si 251.611 1.0
43 Sm 429.674 4.0
44 Sn 303.412 1.0-3.0
45 Sr 407.771 1.0-2.0
46 Ti 334.941 1.0
47 U 358.488 2.0-3.0
48 V 309.311 2.0-4.0
49 W 207.911 3.0-5.0
50 Y 410.236 2.0-3.0
51 Zn 206.200 1.0-2.0
52 Zr 360.119 2.0-3.0


Minimum floor space required: 3 sq.m.

SPARK emission spectrometer with laser ablation Dimensions

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All specifications are available in PDF or MS Word format.