Abstract

We emphasize two points: (1) the properties and mechanisms of very low-fluence ablation of copper surfaces and (2) the sensitivity and selectivity of resonant laser ablation (RLA). We present results for ablation of bulk copper and copper thin films; spot-size effects; the effects of surface-sample preparation and beam polarization; and an accurate measurement of material removal rates, typically ≤10−3 Å at 35 mJ/cm2. Velocity distributions were Maxwellian, with peak velocities ≈1–2 × 105 cm/s. In addition, we discuss the production of diffractionlike surface features, and the probable participation of nonthermal desorption mechanisms. RLA is shown to be a sensitive and useful diagnostic for studies of low-fluence laser–material interactions.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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