Abstract

In this work, we report a comparative study of the laser ablation threshold of borosilicate, fused silica, sapphire, and soda-lime glass as a function of the pulse width and for IR laser wavelengths. We determine the ablation threshold for three different pulse durations: τ=500fs, 10 ps, and 20 ns. Experiments have been performed using a single laser pulse per shot in an ambient (air) environment. The results show a significant difference, of two orders of magnitude, between the group of ablation thresholds obtained for femtosecond, picosecond, and nanosecond pulses. This difference is reduced to 1 order of magnitude in the soda-lime substrate with tin impurities, pointing out the importance of the incubation effect. The morphology of the marks generated over the different glass materials by one single pulse of different pulse durations has been analyzed using a scanning electron microscope (FESEM ULTRA Plus). Our results are important for practical purposes, providing the ablation threshold data of four commonly used substrates at three different pulse durations in the infrared regime (1030–1064 nm) and complete data for increasing the understanding of the differences in the mechanism’s leading ablation in the nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond regimes.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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