Applied Physics A

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 43–50

Selective ablation of thin SiO2 layers on silicon substrates by femto- and picosecond laser pulses


    • Institut für PhysikMartin-Luther-Universität
  • S. Hartnauer
    • Institut für PhysikMartin-Luther-Universität
  • P. Kappe
    • Q-Cells SE
  • C. Swiatkowski
    • Q-Cells SE
  • G. Seifert
    • Institut für PhysikMartin-Luther-Universität

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-011-6352-x

Cite this article as:
Rublack, T., Hartnauer, S., Kappe, P. et al. Appl. Phys. A (2011) 103: 43. doi:10.1007/s00339-011-6352-x


The selective ablation of thin (∼100 nm) SiO2 layers from silicon wafers has been investigated by applying ultra-short laser pulses at a wavelength of 800 nm with pulse durations in the range from 50 to 2000 fs. We found a strong, monotonic decrease of the laser fluence needed for complete ablation of the dielectric layer with decreasing pulse duration. The threshold fluence for 100% ablation probability decreased from 750 mJ/cm2 at 2 ps to 480 mJ/cm2 at 50 fs. Significant corruption of the opened Si surface has been observed above ∼1200 mJ/cm2, independent of pulse duration. By a detailed analysis of the experimental series the values for melting and breaking thresholds are obtained; the physical mechanisms responsible for the significant dependence on the laser pulse duration are discussed.

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© Springer-Verlag 2011