, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 265-271

Absorption and saturation mechanisms in aluminium laser ablated plasmas

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). The interpretation of the ion TOF distributions in terms of theoretical shifted Maxwell–Boltzmann distributions produces a good agreement with the experimental data. This has allowed us to infer the ion flow velocity and temperature associated with the measured TOF distributions, as well as the ion kinetic energies as a function of the laser fluence. We have also studied the total ion yield at different laser fluences. Our results show that all the plume parameters investigated are increasing functions of the laser fluence until a saturation plateau is reached at high fluences (>20 Jcm-2). We ascribe this saturation behav iour to strong absorption and partial, or total, reflection of the laser light by the hot plasma produced by the leading edge of the intense laser pulse. This interpretation is supported by a semi-quantitative analysis of the laser photon absorption and ionization mechanisms in Al plasma, at both laser wavelengths.

Received: 6 January 1997/Accepted: 14 March 1997