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The theory of stimulated emission of radiation proposed by Einstein in 1917 allowed the appearance of lasers. After more than 40 years, the use of lasers in analytical methods was promoted with the emergence of ruby laser, constructed by Maiman for employing optical pumping.1–5  In 1962, Brech and Cross produced microplasma and subsequent spectral emissions on a metallic and non-metallic surface vaporized by a ruby laser and an auxiliary spark source. These experiments can be considered the early precursors of the first analytical techniques, using laser as an energy source, called Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS).1,3 

The first commercial instruments exploring the LIBS technique were fabricated by Jarrell-Ash and Carl Zeiss in the mid 1970s. However, the rise of other spectrometric techniques, such as GF AAS (graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry) and ICP OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry), high cost of instrumentation and low analytical performance promoted the decline of interest in the LIBS technique. The LIBS renaissance started from the 1980s, when significant achievements were achieved in laser, monochromator and detector technologies, which have made reliable and relatively inexpensive instruments available to research laboratories.6  More stable, fast and robust lasers and with better beam quality, moreover, echelle-based monochromators with high resolution/wide spectral range dispersion optics and sensitive detectors based on arrays of intensified charge coupled devices (ICCD) were created, proposing the LIBS application in qualitative and quantitative analytical problems.1,2,6 

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