Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a type of spectroscopy that uses a highly focused beam from a pulsed laser to excite the sample material by generating a plasma plum. Often times a 1064nm Nd:YAG nanosecond laser is used in LIBS devices. LIBS can be used to analyze material in any state, whether that is a gas, liquid or a solid. When any material is excited to a high temperature it will emit light at a certain frequency. That emitted light can then be analyzed by the LIBS systems spectrograph and detector to determine the elements and impurities that a given material is composed of. Applications for LIBS include material identification and characterization, surface cleaning/depth profiling, origin determination and compositional mapping.
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is a mass spectroscopy application which utilizes a soft ionization technique for analysis of biomolecules such as DNA as well as large organic molecules like polymers, which can become fragile when analyzed by other methods. MALDI is a multistage process that involves prepping the sample and applying it to a metal plate, ablating the sample material to release ionized molecules and then analyzing those molecules with a mass spectrometer. MALDI it utilized in a variety of applications including biochemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and microbiology. The most common type of laser that is used for MALDI techniques are frequency-tripled, or quadrupled, Nd:YAG lasers operating at 355nm or 266nm. In some instances infrared lasers are used for MALDI due to the fact they offer a softer mode of ionization, greater material removal, and other beneficial characteristics