Femtosecond laser ablation of nickel in vacuum
AMORUSO, SALVATORE and BRUZZESE, RICCARDO (2007) Femtosecond laser ablation of nickel in vacuum. [Pubblicazione su rivista scientifica]
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We present an experimental characterization and a theoretical analysis of ultrashort laser ablation of a nickel target, which highlights the more general and peculiar features of femtosecond (fs) laser ablation of metals. The study has been carried out by using visible (527 nm) laser pulses of ≈300 fs duration. The vacuum expansion dynamics of the ablated species has been investigated by using fast photography and optical emission spectroscopy, while the fs laser pulse–metal interaction has been studied theoretically by means of molecular dynamics simulations. Special attention has been given to the study of the dependence of ablation depth on laser fluence, which has been carried out by comparing the SEM analysis of micro-holes drilled into the nickel samples with the predictions of the theoretical model. The main outcomes of our investigation, which are very satisfactorily reproduced and accounted for by the theoretical model, are (i) the nonlinear dependence of the ablation yield on the laser fluence, and its reliance to the electron heat diffusion, in the process of redistribution of the absorbed energy, (ii) the splitting of the material blow-off into two main classes of species, atoms and nanoparticles, characterized by different expansion dynamics, and (iii) the different degrees of heating induced by the laser pulse at different depths into the material, which causes the simultaneous occurrence of various ablation mechanisms, eventually leading to atoms and nanoparticles ejection.
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