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Effects of pulse durations and environments on femtosecond laser ablation of stainless steel

Research paper by Shizhen Xu, Renjie Ding, Caizhen Yao, Hao Liu, Yi Wan, Jingxuan Wang, Yayun Ye, Xiaodong Yuan

Indexed on: 16 Mar '18Published on: 15 Mar '18Published in: Applied Physics A



Abstract

The influence of pulse durations (35fs and 260 fs) and environments (air and vacuum) on the laser-induced damage thresholds (LIDTs) and ablation rates of 304 stainless steel were studied. Two distinct ablation regimes were obtained from the ablation rate curves. At low fluence regime, the ablation rates were similar in spite of the differences of pulse durations and experiment environments. At high fluence regime, the ablation rates of 35 fs pulse duration in vacuum were obviously higher than others. The ablation craters showed smooth edges, moth-eye such as structures, and laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSSs). At a fixed fluence, the periods of LIPSSs decreased monotonously in their mean spatial period between ~ 700 nm (5 pulses) and 540 nm (200 pulses) with the increase of pulse numbers in air with 35 fs pulse duration. The formation mechanisms of moth-eye like structures and LIPSSs were also discussed.