Abstract

The threshold for explosive vaporization of a liquid layer on an opaque solid surface heated by an ultraviolet excimer pulsed laser is studied by a photoacoustic probe-beam deflection method. The probe beam traverses the liquid in the vicinity of the laser-heated liquid–solid interface. Below the explosion threshold, photoacoustic generation in the solid occurs only through a thermoelastic mechanism, which results mainly in shear waves that do not couple well into the liquid. Above the explosion threshold, photoacoustic pulses in the solid are also produced by explosive recoil, hence producing longitudinal pulses in the solid that couple well into the liquid after reflections. By setting the probe-beam refraction to detect longitudinal pulse echoes coupled back into the liquid, a sensitive detection of the explosive threshold can be established.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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