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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.
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.
|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|
|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|
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|
|3||As||193.759||0.8 – 2.0|
Minimum floor space required: 3 sq.m.