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Proceedings Paper

Ultrafast laser-induced microexplosions: explosive dynamics and submicrometer structures
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Paper Abstract

Tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses can be nonlinearly absorbed inside transparent materials, creating a highly excited electron-ion plasma. These conditions exist only in a small volume at the laser focus. This tight confinement and extreme conditions lead to an explosive expansion -- a microexplosion. In solid materials, a microexplosion can result in permanent structural changes. We find that the damage produced by femtosecond pulses in this way is surprisingly small, with only a 200-nm diameter. Material left at the center of the microexplosion is either amorphous and less dense or entirely absent. The threshold for breakdown and structural change is nearly independent of material. Time- resolved measurements of microexplosions in water allow us to observe the dynamics of the explosive expansion. The structural changes in solids resulting from microexplosions allow for three-dimensional data storage and internal microstructuring of transparent solids.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3269, Commercial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers, (8 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.312339
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher B. Schaffer, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Eli N. Glezer, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Nozomi Nishimura, Harvard Univ. (United States)
Eric Mazur, Harvard Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3269:
Commercial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers
Murray K. Reed, Editor(s)

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