The composition analysis by scanning femtosecond ultraprobing (CASFLU) technology scans a focused train of extremely short-duration, very intense laser pulses across a sample. The partially-ionized plasma ablated by each pulse is spectrometrically analyzed in real time, determining the ablated material's composition. The steering of the scanned beam thus is computer directed to either continue ablative material-removal at the same site or to successively remove nearby material for the same type of composition analysis. This invention has utility in high-speed chemical-elemental, molecular-fragment and isotopic analyses of the microstructure composition of complex objects, e.g., the oxygen isotopic compositions of large populations of single osteons in bone.
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.