, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 739-746
Date: 23 Dec 2008

Single-pulse drilling study on Au, Al and Ti alloy by using a picosecond laser

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Picosecond laser single pulse ablation of Au, Al and Ti alloy (Ti6Al4V) was experimentally investigated with a laser pulse width of 10 ps at a wavelength of 1064 nm for potential industrial micromachining applications. The diameters, depths and morphologies of the drilled craters were studied. Two novel phenomena were found: as hole diameters decreased with fluence, a change of slope of the trend line indicated a change in ablation mechanism for Al and Ti alloy, metallic materials with short electron-phonon coupling times (<10 ps), while Au showed no such transition: an isolated island structure was also observed on Au due to significant melt expulsion. A one-dimensional two-temperature model has been used to discriminate different ablation phenomena. It is shown that metallic materials with different electron–phonon coupling constant have different ablation characteristics in the ps regime. This study could be very helpful for metallic material micromachining with high repetition rate ps lasers pulses which indicates that high throughput may be achieved as well as good machining quality.