Characterization of particulates accompanying laser ablation of pressed polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) targets
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We present observations of sub-micron- to micron-sized particles generated by high fluence (≈2 J/cm2) 248-nm laser ablation of pressed polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) targets in air at atmospheric pressure. The original target material was hydrostatically compressed ≈7 μm PTFE powder, sintered at 275 °C. Collected ejecta due to laser irradiation consists of four basic particle morphologies ranging from small particles 50–200 nm in diameter to larger particles ≈10 μm in diameter. Many particles formed in air carry electric charge. Using charged electrodes we are able to collect charged particles to determine relative numbers of ± charge. We observe roughly equal numbers of positively and negatively charged particles except for the largest particles which were predominantly negative. For a range of particle sizes we are able to measure the sign and magnitude of this charge with a Millikan-oil-drop technique and determine surface charge densities. The implications of these observations with respect to pulsed laser deposition of PTFE thin films and coatings are discussed.
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