Picosecond and subpicosecond visible laser ablation of optically transparent polymers

A. A. Serafetinides, C. D. Skordoulis, M. I. Makropoulou, A. K. Kar

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The ablation rates, as a function of the laser fluence, of the optically transparent polymers, Nylon-6,6 and PMMA, are reported using picosecond and subpicosecond laser pulses, obtained from a Regenerative Amplified Nd:YAG laser system. The laser pulses had a duration of 100 ps at 1064 and 532 nm wavelengths and 0.8 ps at 595 nm. The ablation rate results indicate a strong saturation behaviour for both polymers in the investigated irradiation conditions. The material removal is 2-3 times higher in the case of the visible (532 nm) picosecond laser ablation experiments. The surface topology of the polymers was also studied. The obtained Atomic Force Microscopy images reveal no mechanical damage in the inner ablation crater wall. The qualitative analysis of the ablation mechanism for ultrashort pulse laser irradiation reveals a combination of photochemically induced direct bond dissociation and a photothermal process due to the relaxation of the excited polymers within the vibrational levels of the ground state. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


  • Ablation rates
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Optically transparent polymers


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