Ablation of silicon suboxide thin layers
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- Jahn, M., Richter, J., Weichenhain-Schriever, R. et al. Appl. Phys. A (2010) 101: 533. doi:10.1007/s00339-010-5892-9
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We investigate the ablation of SiOx thin films on fused silica substrates using single-pulse exposures at 193 nm and 248 nm. Two ablation modes are considered: front side (the surface of a film is irradiated from above) and rear side (a film is irradiated through its supporting substrate). Fluence is varied from below 200 mJ/cm2 to above 3 J/cm2. SiOx films of thickness 200 nm, 400 nm, and 600 nm are ablated. In the case of rear-side illumination, at moderate fluences (around 0.5 mJ/cm2) the ablation depth corresponds roughly to the film thickness, above 1 J/cm2 part of the substrate is ablated as well. In the case of front-side ablation the single-pulse ablation depth is limited for all film thicknesses to less than 200 nm even at fluences up to 4 J/cm2. Experimental results are discussed in relation to film thickness, fluence, and ablation mode. Simple numerical calculations are performed to clarify the influence of heat transport on the ablation process.