OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 9 — Apr. 25, 2011
  • pp: 8870–8878

Investigation of ultrashort pulse laser ablation of solid targets by measuring the ablation-generated momentum using a torsion pendulum

Nan Zhang, Wentao Wang, Xiaonong Zhu, Jiansheng Liu, Kuanhong Xu, Peng Huang, Jiefeng Zhao, Ruxin Li, and Mingwei Wang  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 9, pp. 8870-8878 (2011)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1118 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



50 fs - 12 ps laser pulses are employed to ablate aluminum, copper, iron, and graphite targets. The ablation-generated momentum is measured with a torsion pendulum. Corresponding time-resolved shadowgraphic measurements show that the ablation process at the optimal laser fluence achieving the maximal momentum is primarily dominated by the photomechanical mechanism. When laser pulses with specific laser fluence are used and the pulse duration is tuned from 50 fs to 12 ps, the generated momentum firstly increases and then remains almost constant, which could be attributed to the change of the ablation mechanism involved from atomization to phase explosion. The investigation of the ablation-generated momentum also reveals a nonlinear momentum-energy conversion scaling law, namely, as the pulse energy increases, the momentum obtained by the target increases nonlinearly. This may be caused by the effective reduction of the dissipated energy into the surrounding of the ablation zone as the pulse energy increases, which indicates that for femtosecond laser the dissipated energy into the surrounding target is still significant.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(320.7100) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast measurements
(320.7130) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast processes in condensed matter, including semiconductors
(350.3390) Other areas of optics : Laser materials processing

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: March 18, 2011
Revised Manuscript: April 11, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: April 13, 2011
Published: April 21, 2011

Nan Zhang, Wentao Wang, Xiaonong Zhu, Jiansheng Liu, Kuanhong Xu, Peng Huang, Jiefeng Zhao, Ruxin Li, and Mingwei Wang, "Investigation of ultrashort pulse laser ablation of solid targets by measuring the ablation-generated momentum using a torsion pendulum," Opt. Express 19, 8870-8878 (2011)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. Amoruso, G. Ausanio, R. Bruzzese, M. Vitiello, and X. Wang, “Femtosecond laser pulse irradiation of solid targets as a general route to nanoparticle formation in a vacuum,” Phys. Rev. B 71(3), 033406 (2005). [CrossRef]
  2. T. Juhasz, X. H. Hu, L. Turi, and Z. Bor, “Dynamics of shock waves and cavitation bubbles generated by picosecond laser pulses in corneal tissue and water,” Lasers Surg. Med. 15(1), 91–98 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. R. Stoian, D. Ashkenasi, A. Rosenfeld, and E. E. B. Campbell, “Coulomb explosion in ultrashort pulsed laser ablation of Al2O3,” Phys. Rev. B 62(19), 13167–13173 (2000). [CrossRef]
  4. R. Tommasini, K. Eidmann, T. Kawachi, and E. E. Fill, “Preplasma conditions for operation of 10-Hz subjoule femtosecond-laser-pumped nickel-likex-ray lasers,” Phys. Rev. E Stat. Nonlin. Soft Matter Phys. 69(6 Pt 2), 066404 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. N. Zhang, Y. B. Zhao, and X. N. Zhu, “Light propulsion of microbeads with femtosecond laser pulses,” Opt. Express 12(15), 3590–3598 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Y. A. Rezunkov, “Investigations of propelling of objects by light: review of Russian studies on laser propulsion,” in Proceedings of AIP Conference on Beamed Energy Propulsion 766 (AIP, 2005), pp. 46–57.
  7. A. Kantrowitz, “Propulsion to orbit by ground-based lasers,” Astronaut. Aeronaut. 10, 74–76 (1972).
  8. C. Phipps, J. Luke, D. Funk, D. Moore, J. Glownia, and T. Lippert, “Measurements of laser impulse coupling at 130fs,” Proc. SPIE 5448, 1201–1209 (2004). [CrossRef]
  9. A. V. Pakhomov, M. S. Thompson, and D. A. Gregory, “Ablative laser propulsion: a study of specific impulse, thrust and efficiency,” in Proceedings of AIP Conference on Beamed Energy Propulsion 664 (AIP, 2003), pp. 194–205.
  10. P. Lorazo, L. J. Lewis, and M. Meunier, “Short-pulse laser ablation of solids: from phase explosion to fragmentation,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 91(22), 225502 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. A. Miotello and R. Kelly, “Critical assessment of thermal models for laser sputtering at high fluences,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 67(24), 3535–3537 (1995). [CrossRef]
  12. J. Fang, J. Xing, J. Ye, G. Wang, and T. Zhou, “A calculation method of micro-impulse with torsion pendulum,” Dev. Innov. Mach. Electr. Prod. 20, 17–18 (2007) (in Chinese).
  13. C. Phipps and J. Luke, “Diode laser-driven microthrusters: a new departure for micropropulsion,” AIAA J. 40(2), 310–318 (2002). [CrossRef]
  14. N. Zhang, X. Zhu, J. Yang, X. Wang, and M. Wang, “Time-resolved shadowgraphs of material ejection in intense femtosecond laser ablation of aluminum,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 99(16), 167602 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. V. P. Skripov, Metastable Liquids (Halsted Press, 1974).
  16. N. Zhang, Physical mechanisms of ultrashort laser pulses ablation of solid targets and its applications in laser propulsion (Doctoral thesis, Nankai University, Tianjin, China, 2007) (in Chinese).
  17. K. Dreisewerd, M. Schurenberg, M. Karas, and F. Hillenkamp, “Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization with nitrogen lasers of different pulse widths,” Int. J. Mass Spectrom. Ion Process. 154(3), 171–178 (1996). [CrossRef]
  18. Y. G. Yingling, P. F. Conforti, and B. J. Garrison, “Theoretical investigation of laser pulse width dependence in a thermal confinement regime,” Appl. Phys., A Mater. Sci. Process. 79(4-6), 757–759 (2004).
  19. G. Paltauf and P. E. Dyer, “Photomechanical processes and effects in ablation,” Chem. Rev. 103(2), 487–518 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited