Abstract

The hole formation mechanism in thin films for optical recording is studied based on the energy balance between the surface tension gradient driven force and various opposing forces. A more rigorous energy calculation using the exact temperature profiles obtained by the numerical solution to the heat equation has shown that the inertial dissipation energy is more important than the viscous energy. This improved calculation correctly predicts the threshold energy dependence on film thickness. This is an important result, since the surface tension gradient driven optical writing model has not been widely accepted due to the controversy in the thickness dependency of the threshold energy. Specifically, the previous model predicted that the thinner the film was, the lower the sensitivity would be, which is an opposite result to the experimental observation. The present work clearly demonstrates that this apparent contradiction is not due to the fundamental shortcomings of the model but to the unacceptable simplification in the previous calculations. The theory for the ablative optical writing mechanism developed in this work is illustrated in detail by using an example of 300-Å Te film on PMMA followed by the application to various materials. The experimental data agree reasonably well within the measurement errors.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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