The understanding and modeling of the laser-material interaction (plasma formation and dynamics, particle formation, etc) is essential for the advance of laser-based analytical techniques as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), or matrix-assisted laser desorption (MALDI). In particular for LIBS and MALDI particles constitute the part of the plasma or plume, respectively, which is not detectable, while for the ICP they form the part of material that needs to be transported for subsequent evaporation and ionization in the ICP. Chemical composition, form, morphology, and size of the particles influence their transportability and their behavior in secondary plasma. Particles too large are difficult to transport and digest, and particles too small are often lost by diffusion or/and wall contacts. Therefore, the production of a suitable aerosol with regard to a specific detection system (i.e., transport, evaporation, and excitation/ionization) has significant impact on the performance of an analytical method.
Properties of plasma plume influence applications: