Glass particles produced by laser ablation for ICP-MS measurements
Pulsed laser ablation (266 nm) was used to generate glass particles from two sets of standard reference materials using femtosecond (150 fs) and nanosecond (4 ns) laser pulses with identical fluences of 50 J cm−2. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the collected particles revealed that there are more and larger agglomerations of particles produced by nanosecond laser ablation.
In contrast to the earlier findings for metal alloy samples, no correlation between the concentration of major elements and the median particle size was found. When the current data on glass were compared with the metal alloy data, there were clear differences in terms of particle size, crater depth, heat affected zone, and ICP-MS response. For example, glass particles were larger than metal alloy particles, the craters in glass were less deep than craters in metal alloys, and damage to the sample was less pronounced in glass compared to metal alloy samples. The femtosecond laser generated more intense ICP-MS signals compared to nanosecond laser ablation for both types of samples, although glass sample behavior was more similar between ns- and fs-laser ablation than for metal alloys.