A thermal model of phase explosion for power laser ablation

Quanming Lu, Samuel S. Mao, Xianglei Mao, Richard E. Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although laser ablation of solid materials is finding applications in a growing number of fields, the basic mechanisms underlying laser ablation processes have not been fully understood. One fundamental parameter for high-power laser ablation applications is the ablation depth resulting from the interaction of individual laser pulses. the ablation depth for laser ablation of single-crystal silicon shows a dramatic increase at a laser intensity threshold of approximately 20 GW/cm2. Above this threshold, micron-sized particulates have been observed to eject from the target surface. We present an analysis of this threshold phenomenon and demonstrate that thermal diffusion and subsequent explosive boiling after the completion of laser irradiation is a possible mechanism to describe the observed dramatic increase of the ablation depth. Calculations based on this delayed phase explosion model provide a satisfactory estimate of the measurements. In addition, we find that the shielding of an expanding mass plasma during laser irradiation plays an important role on this threshold phenomenon.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)959-964
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberII
StatePublished - 2002
EventHigh-Power Laser Ablation IV - Taos, United States
Duration: 22 Apr 200226 Apr 2002


  • Laser ablation
  • Phase explosion
  • Plasma
  • Theoretical model


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