Ultrafast laser ablation of dielectrics employing temporally shaped femtosecond pulses

Razvan Stoian, Mark Boyle, Andreas Thoss, Arkadi Rosenfeld, David Ashkenasi, Georg Korn, Eleanor E.B. Campbell, Ingolf V. Hertel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Dielectric materials exposed to ultrashort laser radiation have evidenced individualized paths to deposit the energy into the lattice. Electronic and thermal mechanisms competing in the process of material removal depend on the efficiency of the electrostatic energy accumulation on the surface due to photoionization, as well as on the lattice heating which follows the electron-phonon coupling. The electrostatic surface break-up is a fast, sub-picosecond process, while thermal mechanisms start to dominate on a longer, picosecond time scale given by the electron-lattice equilibration and phase transformation time. The Coulomb-explosion induced ion ejection due to a surplus charge accumulated on the surface during the photoionization process is significant only in dielectrics while in semiconductors and metals an efficient neutralization occurs. The significance of the different channels in dielectric materials can be reduced or enhanced by using laser pulses which are modulated on a time scale characteristic for the above mentioned mechanisms. Thus, amplified temporally-shaped pulses, double peaks, or pulse trains with a separation below 1 ps can have a significant effect on the quality of micromachining of transparent materials. The energy deposition can be modulated in such a way that the first pulse of properly chosen energy leads to a softening of the material associated with the onset of heating, thus changing the coupling conditions for the next pulses. This leads to less residual stress accumulation, cleaner structures, and opens the way for a material dependent optimization process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-81
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
EventSecond International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 16 May 200118 May 2001


  • Dielectrics
  • Femtosecond ablation
  • Pulse-shaping


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