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Title: Femtosecond laser ablation of dielectric materials in the optical breakdown regime: Expansion of a transparent shell

Phase transition pathways of matter upon ablation with ultrashort laser pulses have been considered to be understood long-since for metals and semiconductors. We provide evidence that also certain dielectrics follow the same pathway, even at high pulse energies triggering optical breakdown. Employing femtosecond microscopy, we observe a characteristic ring pattern within the ablating region that dynamically changes for increasing time delays between pump and probe pulse. These transient Newton rings are related to optical interference of the probe beam reflected at the front surface of the ablating layer with the reflection at the interface of the non-ablating substrate. Analysis of the ring structure shows that the ablation mechanism is initiated by a rarefaction wave leading within a few tens of picoseconds to the formation of a transparent thin shell of reduced density and refractive index, featuring optically sharp interfaces. The shell expands and eventually detaches from the solid material at delays of the order of 100 ps.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Laser Processing Group, Instituto de Optica, Serrano 121, 28006 Madrid (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303525
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ABLATION; BEAMS; BREAKDOWN; DENSITY; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; EXPANSION; INTERFACES; INTERFERENCE; LASER RADIATION; LAYERS; METALS; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; REFLECTION; REFRACTIVE INDEX; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SOLIDS; SUBSTRATES; SURFACES; TIME DELAY; TRANSIENTS