Nebraska Patent of the Month – October 2021

Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (LA-ICPMS)  is a type of mass spectrometry that uses an inductively coupled plasma to ionize the sample. When sampling is done rapidly, it results in plume formation of the ejected material. When the target is too far from the LA-ICPMS, sampling speed may also be affected. Some applications apply spot ablation to achieve higher resolution imagery but results in less energy impacting the target, shorter plume travel, and requiring a shorter distance between the device and sample. 

Elemental Scientific Lasers, LLC has spent the last two decades developing specialized solutions for labs worldwide. They took a look at the issues faced with LA-ICPMS devices and created an adjustable sample floor which contributes to improved, ultrafast signal washout. The sample, placed on the adjustable floor, is positioned within the sample chamber. By adjusting position and orientation, the sample height can be fine tuned to improve the LA-ICPMS signal and create a three-point levelling of a target plane compared to the laser focus. By controllably adjusting the sample target’s position, there can be greater control throughout the LA-ICPMS process, with ultrafast signal washout and more accurate results.

Their device can adjust the sample target within a chamber to bring it nearer or farther from the LA-ICPMS port. It can also adjust the orientation of the sample to ensure it is positioned as ideally as possible.

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