Material removal during ArF excimer laser ablation of graphite at atmospheric pressure was investigated by two independent methods; 1) by observation of the propagating properties of the shock wave generated by the carbonaceous ejecta and 2) by in situ measurement of the size distribution of carbon nanoparticles condensing in the ablation plume. This latter was carried out by a scanning mobility particle sizer system based on a differential mobility analyser. The performed measurements indicate that the material removal during ArF laser ablation consists of two steps at fluences above the threshold fluence. First, a thin layer of carbon (of the order of 1 nm) is removed by a quick desorption process, leading to shockwave formation. This process takes place in a ns time scale, and desorption rate estimations reveal that this can not be explained by thermal surface evaporation. Since to our knowledge there is no thermal process that could account for the estimated desorption rate, it is argued that this is a fast photochemical (i.e. non-thermal) process. The size distribution of the condensed nanoparticles related to this step shows a rising edge at diameters below 10 nm. At fluences above the ablation threshold, the majority of the material is ejected in the second phase, resulting in condensation of carbon nanoparticles, peaking at ∼ 50 nm diameters in the size spectrum. Both shockwave formation and material removal are also detected well below the ablation threshold fluence, which is attributed to the photochemical process.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)