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Proceedings Paper

Ultrafast breakdown of dielectrics: new insight from double pump-probe experiments (Conference Presentation)

Paper Abstract

We investigate the mechanisms involved in the modification of dielectric materials by ultrashort laser pulses. We show that the use of a double pulse (fundamental and second harmonic of a Ti–Sa laser) excitation scheme allows getting new insight in the fundamental processes that occur during the interaction. We first measure the optical breakdown (OB) threshold map (intensity of first pulse versus intensity of second pulse) in various materials (Al2O3, MgO, α-SiO2). Using a simple model that includes multiphoton excitation followed by carrier heating in the conduction band, and assuming that OB occurs when a critical amount of energy is deposited in the material, we can satisfactorily reproduce this evolution of optical breakdown thresholds. The results demonstrate the dominant role of carrier heating in the energy transfer from the laser pulse to the solid. This important phenomenon is also highlighted by the kinetic energy distribution of photoelectrons observed in a photoemission experiment performed under similar conditions of double pulse excitation. Furthermore, we show, in the case of α-SiO2, that the formation of self-trapped exciton is in competition with the heating mechanism and thus play an important role especially when the pulse duration exceeds a few 100 fs. Finally, also in quartz or silica, we observe that the initial electronic excitation plays a key role in the formation of surface ripples and that their characteristics are determined by the first pulse, even at intensities well below OB threshold. The consequence of all these experimental results in the domain of UV or VUV induce damage will be discussed. In particular we demonstrate the possibility to dramatically increase the ablation efficiency by VUV light by using such double pulse scheme.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 June 2017
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 10236, Damage to VUV, EUV, and X-ray Optics VI, 1023607 (21 June 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2265927
Show Author Affiliations
Stéphane Guizard, Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (France)
Alexandros Mouskeftaras, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Allan Bildé, Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (France)
Sergey M. Klimentov, A. M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian Federation)
Nikita Fedorov, Ctr. Lasers Intenses et Applications (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10236:
Damage to VUV, EUV, and X-ray Optics VI
Libor Juha; Saša Bajt; Regina Soufli, Editor(s)

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