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The Use of Nitrogen Generators for Laser Ablation

Nitrogen Generators have the capabilities to be used in a variety of different applications from Mass Spectrometry to IVF and Stem Cell Research, here at Apex our machines have also have the ability to be used in Laser Ablation and as a lensing medium, but what is laser ablation and why would you need a nitrogen generator for it?

Laser ablation is the new technique for Direct Solid Sampling in analytical sampling which is an alternative to the more traditional methods of sample preparation.

The Process of Laser Ablation

Laser ablation is the method in which a laser beam is used to eliminate a portion of mass from a sample and is typically used as a sampling method for isotopic (the identification of isotopic signature) or elemental (the process in which a material sample i.e., soil, waste, drinking water, chemical compounds etc. is analysed for its elemental composition) analysis of a solid sample. The mass from the sampling material is subjected to intense laser energy, as photon emissions are examined at the surface of the sample. This is generally known as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Afterword the ablated material is then transferred to a subsequent excitation source of an ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) instrument.

The development of the laser ablation combined with ICP-ME (LA-ICP-MS) is ultimately an interesting analytical technique which has the ability to preform chemical analysis down to parts per billion. There are also several advantages included for analytical chemistry by removing the use of the more traditional and complex sampling methods. Included benefits of these LA-ICP-MS are little to no sample preparation necessary, reduced risk of sample contamination and analysis of materials which cannot be separated from the sample for analysis. Additionally, there is no necessity for a vacuum system for the analysis of both conducting and non-conducting samples. So, the LA-ICP-MS findings are produced in real-time, within seconds.

The Use of Nitrogen Gas in correlation with Laser Ablation

Nitrogen gas is required when using laser ablation for LA-ICP-MS as a purge gas to blanket parts of the laser beam. High energy pulse of UV laser light is delivered in the optical beam-train and nitrogen gas is required to block out oxygen and water vapour present in the air which could potentially erode the optical elements of the beam-train and Nitrogen gas N2 prevents reduction of energy of the laser pulses transmitted down the beam-train.

Apex’s Nevis Range

Apex’s Nevis Range of Nitrogen Generators off a safe and user-friendly solution for labs looking to use an onsite nitrogen generator for laser ablation applications. Our Nevis generators are a cost-effective alternative to nitrogen gas cylinders, requiring a one-time delivery and with our included package of regular visits you can have peace of mind that your machine is running to the best of its abilities. With our on-site nitrogen generator labs can simple plug-and-play and be

provided with a steady supply of high purity nitrogen as and when it is required.

The Nevis series of High Purity Nitrogen generator is a range of discrete, efficient, and modular Nitrogen generators that fit under a workbench. All of the units in the range are built on a modular design to allow the capacity to be expanded upon if required. As with most of our products, there is the option for bespoke models which better fix your laboratory’s needs, flow rates, purity levels, connection ports, integrated compressors and more are all to be customised to best suit your requirements. By supplying nitrogen gas through a nitrogen generator for laser

ablation the need to have potentially dangerous high-pressure gas cylinders is removed, providing labs with a constant dependable and convenient source of nitrogen gas.

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