Investigation of droplet formation in pulsed Nd:YAG laser deposition of metals and silicon

Research paper by Wee-Ong Siew, Wai-Keat Lee, Hin-Yong Wong, Thian-Khok Yong, Seong-Shan Yap, Teck-Yong Tou

Indexed on: 15 Jul '10Published on: 15 Jul '10Published in: Applied Physics A


In the process of pulsed laser deposition of nickel (Ni) and ruthenium (Ru) thin films, the occurrence of phase explosion in ablation was found to affect the deposition rate and enhance the optical emissions from the plasma plume. Faster thin-film growth rates coincide with the onset of phase explosion as a result of superheating and/or sub-surface boiling which also increased the particulates found on the thin-film surface. These particulates were predominantly droplets which may not be round but flattened and also debris for the case of silicon (Si) ablation. The droplets from Ni and Ru thin films were compared in terms of size distribution and number density for different laser fluences. The origins of these particulates were correlated to the bubble and ripple formations on the targets while the transfer to the thin film surface was attributed to the laser-induced ejection from the targets.