Z-300 LIBS Analyzer

Every Element in the Periodic Table, in Seconds, in a Handheld

The Z-300 accomplishes what no other portable analyzer has done. It’s a handheld analyzer that measures every element in the periodic table of the elements – from H to U. The Z-300 uses the same laser as the Z-200, but with an extended spectrometer range from 190 nm out to 950 nm. The extended range allows emission lines from elements H, F, N, O, Br, Cl, Rb, Cs and S to be measured. These lines cannot be measured with the Z-200. The Z-300 also measures a more sensitive line for lithium to achieve limits of detection in the 2-5 ppm range. The Z-300 also measures a more sensitive, and interference-free line for potassium (K). The more traditional potassium lines have heavy iron interference, whereas the line used by the Z-300 is free of such interference. The Z is most widely used for mineral exploration including lithium in both hard rock and brines. It is also used in the forensics, authentication, archeology, oil/gas exploration areas due to the wide elemental range. Like the Z-200, the laser strike pattern, cleaning shots, spectrometer settings are all under user control. The analyzer includes advanced software for modifying all settings, comparing spectral data, and for generating quantitative calibration curves. The Z-300 features the same Android OS and intuitive App-driven software as all other SciAps models.

Analytical Range

One or more lines from all elements in periodic table


190 nm – 950 nm

SciAps Z-300 LIBS Analyzer

Measures Every Element in the Periodic Table
from H to U

List of elements the Z-300 LIBS analyzer can measure

Z-300 for GeoChem & Soils

The Z-300 handheld LIBS is a hot new technology hitting the mining and exploration sectors. The Z offers two distinct features not available with the established handheld X-ray analyzers. First, the Z analyzes elements that X-ray cannot, including lithium (Li), beryllium (Be), boron (B), carbon (C), fluorine (F) and sodium (Na). The Z also performs micro-analysis in the field, something not available with any other analyzer. The laser beam is 100 um, and the Z can raster the laser in discreet increments in two dimensions. This allows for heat mapping of regions on rocks. The Z is also generally better on low concentrations of major elements or metals including Mg and Al compared to HH XRF.

Bulk Samples and Microanalysis

The Z is the world’s only handheld offering elemental microanalysis in the field. Users may set up the raster to a grid pattern, utilizing the pinpoint 100 um laser spot size for elemental heat mapping point-by-point. For bulk samples, the Z can be set to average results from every raster location for a bulk sample result, just like handheld XRF analysis.

*Australian Synchrotron’s x-ray fluorescence microprobe (XFM) data courtesy of Shaun Barker (University of Waikato) and Jeremy Vaughan (Barrick).

An X-ray fluorescence map (XFM) for Fe

An X-ray fluorescence map (XFM) for Fe. SciAps handheld LIBS now allows targeted microanalysis of geological samples in the field.

LIBS element distribution map for Fe

The corresponding LIBS element distribution map for Fe shows excellent correlation with the XFM map.

The 3 “Must Have’s” for Handheld LIBS


Argon Purge

The Z is the ONLY handheld LIBS with an integrated, user-replaceable argon purge. Operating in an argon environment yields 10x or more boost in signal, particularly for emissions in the deep UV (190 nm 0 300 nm), where many elements are measured. Shown in the figure are two spectra from a stainless steel, with and without argon, demonstrating the large signal boost. Also available are larger belt-mounted canisters (4x the volume). Users may also connect the Z to industry standard stationary argon tanks with our optional package of bridge regulator and tubing.

Stainless Steel 316 with and without Argon Purge Chart

click chart for larger view

Can I use the Z-300 without argon? Yes. All our LIBS units can be run with/without argon or with/without spectrometer gating. You’ll need to use our ProfileBuilder App to adjust the calibration curves however.

Z-300 LIBS analyzer argon purge


Cleaning Mode Laser Technology – Automates sample prep, offers depth profiling

The Z features novel cleaning mode to provide automated, user-settable surface preparation depending on the type of application. Cleaning mode fires 5-6 mJ/pulse laser shots at 50 Hz (50 shots/second) thus 5 cleaning shots every 0.1 sec. Users can choose the number of total cleaning shots, after which the Z will use subsequent shots for spectral data and analysis. For metal surfaces which may be dirty or contaminated, the standard setting is for 10 cleaning shots, whereas for soil samples, often only a few are used. The cleaning shot capability may also be used for depth profiling, for example, monitoring elemental concentrations as functions of depth into the sample. The laser focus is also under software control so that analysis continues into the depth of the material.

Calcium Concentration as a Function of Depth in the Sample

Example of surface preparation by the Z’s laser. Repeat shots, fired at 50 Hz, burn away surface material (calcium indicator) allowing analysis of underlying bulk substance.


Rastered 2D Laser + Variable Focus

A large body of publications suggests the best LIBS precision is obtained when the laser is rastered, and results averaged over multiple locations. The Z takes rastering a step further for handhelds. It has an integrated XY stage, plus a Z-direction focus adjustment. In addition to factory-set rastering for specific applications (alloy, geochemical, etc.), the user may also setup their own raster pattern. A user can do a line scan, or even single spot analysis on an inclusion or vein of material. The laser spot size is approximately 50 um in diameter. The Z includes an illumination fiber which when aligned with the rastering, illuminates the location where the plasma will is created. With the software-controlled variable focus, a user can obtain analytical results as a function of sample thickness.

Laser raster


4 lbs with battery


8.25″ x 11.5″ x 4.5″


5″ color touchscreen Smartphone type display – PowerVR SGX540 3D graphic

Sample viewing

On-board camera/video for viewing sample before, during analysis, laser spot finder to show where laser strikes sample.


Z-direction stage, computer controlled for manually or automatically adjusting laser focus location on sample. Essential for liquids analysis.

Comms/Data Transfer

Wifi, Bluetooth, USB. Connectivity to most devices, including SciAps Profile Builder PC software.

Available Apps

Alloy, Geochem (Mining), Empirical, Environmental Apps. New Apps are added regularly please check with company or website.

Excitation Source

5-6 mJ/pulse, 50 Hz repetition rate, 1064 nm laser source

Processing Electronics

ARM Cortex -A9 dual-core / 1.2 GHz Memory: 1 GB DDR2 RAM, 1 GB NAND

Spectral Data Acquisition

Spectral data collected in either ungated or gated operation, with user settable gate delays

Operation/Argon Purge

On-board, user replaceable argon cartridges for operating in argon purge environment. Air-based operation optional. Argon canister provides approximately 600 tests before replacement.

Laser Raster

On-board XY stage for rastering laser to discrete locations for targeted analysis or averaging. Raster pattern up to 16 x 16 grid, 256 locations.

Calibration Check

Internal shutter is also 316 stainless for totally automated calibration and wavelength scale validation.


On board rechargeable Li-ion battery, rechargeable inside device or with external charger, AC power.

Drift Correction

Only needed for higher accuracy analysis (argon purge). Automated drift correction using factory provided or user provided reference materials.

Data Storage

Results Storage: 8 GB SD


Password protected usage (user level) and internal settings (admin).


CE, RoHS, USFDA registered. Class 3b laser. Sample sensor on-board, allows for operation under Class 1 conditions, subject to local LSO approval. CE, RoHS, USFDA registered.

This page was updated on September 8th, 2021