A study of visible laser ablation of tantalum in vacuum by using 3 ns Nd:YAG laser radiation at high pulse energy is reported. Nanosecond pulsed ablation, at an intensity on the order of 109 W cm2, produces high nonisotropic emission of neutrals and ionic species. Mass quadrupole spectrometry, coupled to electrostatic ion deflection, allows estimation of the energy distributions of the emitted species within the plume as a function of the incident laser energy. Neutrals show typical Boltzmann distributions while ions show Coulomb-Boltzmann-shifted distributions depending on their charge state. Surface profiles of the craters and microscopy investigations permitted to study the ablation threshold, ablation yields, and deposition rates of thin films on silicon substrates. The multicomponent structure of the plume emission is rationalized in terms of charge state, ion and neutral equivalent temperatures, and plasma density. A special regard is given to the ion acceleration process occurring inside the plasma due to the high electrical field generated at the nonequilibrium plasma conditions. The angular distributions of the neutral and ion species are also presented and discussed.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)