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LIBS is a method of elemental analysis of solid, liquid and gaseous substances. The method has been instrumentally developed since 1980, however, it was not actively applied (especially in the form of hand-held and portable analyzers) until 1990. Its main application is the quantitative and qualitative analysis of solids. The method uses the radiation of a microplasma formed on the surface of the examined sample by a focused laser pulse to determine its chemical composition. At the end of the pulse, the resulting plasma begins to cool (in the order of microseconds) and sharp emission lines of ionized atoms remain visible = emission spectrum of the sample. The polychromatic emitted light is guided to the grating and then to the CCD camera by a spectrometer. The method is therefore slightly destructive; there is an “ablation” of the material on the surface in the order of nanograms. BWTek currently offers two types of handheld spectrometers based on the LIBS principle and owns severalpatentů in this field.

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