, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 41-43

Laser ablation of polymers in pressurized gas ambients

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Excimer-laser ablation of polyimide films into He and N2 atmospheres in the pressure range of 5×10−5–10−2 atm is reported. Using 193 nm radiation at 1 J/cm2, it was found that the etch depth per pulse decreases by a factor of 2 with increasing ambient pressure. A description of the ablation process is presented in terms of a strong point explosion model with an outgoing shock wave which produces ingoing drag forces in the gas near the film. These drag a fraction of the ablated fragments and partially redeposit them onto the sample, thus reducing the observed etch depth per pulse.