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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 15 — Jul. 26, 2004
  • pp: 3590–3598

Light propulsion of microbeads with femtosecond laser pulses

Nan Zhang, You-Bo Zhao, and Xiao-Nong Zhu  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 15, pp. 3590-3598 (2004)

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Milli-Joule, femtosecond laser pulses have been used to propel microbeads for the first time. The microbeads of three different materials (iron, glass, and polystyrene) are used, weighting from 0.84 mg to 1.4 mg with a diameter range of 0.7–1.1 mm. Experimental parameters such as focused beam spot diameter, pulse energy, and pulse width are carefully varied to investigate their respective influences on the specific ablative laser propulsion. It is found that both the momentum coupling efficiency and the overall energy conversion efficiency from light energy to kinetic energy are greater for shorter laser pulses. A typical value of the momentum coupling efficiency of 5.0 dyne/W for iron beads is obtained. It is also evident that for metallic and non-metallic microbeads the momentum coupling efficiency has different variation tendencies versus the focused beam spot diameter.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers
(350.3390) Other areas of optics : Laser materials processing
(350.5400) Other areas of optics : Plasmas

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: May 25, 2004
Revised Manuscript: July 20, 2004
Published: July 26, 2004

Nan Zhang, You-Bo Zhao, and Xiao-Nong Zhu, "Light propulsion of microbeads with femtosecond laser pulses," Opt. Express 12, 3590-3598 (2004)

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