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Proceedings Paper

Reflectance Changes Of Metals During Laser Irradiation
Author(s): William T. Walter
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Paper Abstract

The reflectance behavior of a target surface during laser irradiation determines the laser energy which is directly absorbed. Experimentally, the reflectance of a metal surface has been observed to undergo a sharp and substantial decrease during an intense laser pulse. Explanations have been offered based on an increase in electron-phonon collision frequency as the temperature of the metal surface rises to the melting point of the metal. It is doubtful, however, that the temperature dependence of a Drude-type free-electron model can explain the substantial reflectance changes reported, particularly for high conductivity metals such as copper. Three other classes of explanations have been proposed: 1) deformation of the metal surface, 2) plasma formation in the front of the target, or 3) a nonlinear process causing enhanced absorption within the metal. Specular and total reflectances of metal surfaces during ruby laser irradiation have been measured at the Polytechnic. The laser energy absorbed has been calculated and the temperature history of the metal surface determined using a one-dimensional heat-conduction approach. Reflectance and temperature histories have been related to permanent changes observed in the metal target surface. Only at temperatures significantly above the melting point of the metal does a substantial decrease in the total reflectance occur.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 1980
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0198, Laser Applications in Materials Processing, (24 January 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958027
Show Author Affiliations
William T. Walter, Polytechnic Institute of New York (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0198:
Laser Applications in Materials Processing
John F. Ready, Editor(s)

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