2012 R&D 100 to Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry

Rendering of Laser Ablation
June 20, 2012
Rick Russo and Xianglei Mao, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Osman Sorkhabi, LAM Research Corp., and Alexander Bol'shakov, Applied Spectra

LAMIS, which stands for Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry, focuses the energy of a high-powered laser beam to a tiny spot on the surface of a sample to create a plasma plume for analysis. Each species of atoms or ions in the plasma will emit light with signature spectral emission peaks that can be measured to identify the specific isotopes of a chemical element within. LAMIS offers a green chemistry alternative to existing mass spectrometry techniques that is faster, less expensive and can be carried out from across vast distances.