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Emissive plumes from pulsed laser ablation of bulk Ti and Al from KrF laser irradiation at laser fluence up to 3.5 J/cm2 and argon background pressures of 0–1 Torr have been observed using gated intensified charged-coupled device imagery. Mass loss for Ti increases from 0.1 to 0.8 μg/pulse as pulse energy increase from 174 to 282 mJ/pulse (35–170 photons/atom) and decreases by ∼30% as pressure increases from vacuum to 1 Torr. Early plume energies are described by the free expansion velocities of 1.57 ± 0.02 and of 1.81 ± 0.07 cm/μs for Ti and Al, respectively, and up to 90% of the incoming laser energy can be attributed to the Al shock front in the mid-field. The ablation thresholds of 90 ± 27 mJ (1.12 ± 0.34 J/cm2) for Ti and 126 ± 13 mJ (1.58 ± 0.16 J/cm2) for Al also represent 30%–70% of the incident laser energy. The decrease in mass loss at higher pressures is attributed to plasma shielding of the target surface.


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Funding notes: This work was partially supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under task LRIR #14RQ08COR.



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Journal of Applied Physics