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Nanoscale laser processing and diagnostics


The article summarizes research activities of the Laser Thermal Laboratory on pulsed nanosecond and femtosecond laser-based processing of materials and diagnostics at the nanoscale using optical-near-field processing. Both apertureless and apertured near-field probes can deliver highly confined irradiation at sufficiently high intensities to impart morphological and structural changes in materials at the nanometric level. Processing examples include nanoscale selective subtractive (ablation), additive (chemical vapor deposition), crystallization, and electric, magnetic activation. In the context of nanoscale diagnostics, optical-near-field-ablation-induced plasma emission was utilized for chemical species analysis by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Furthermore, optical-near-field irradiation greatly improved sensitivity and reliability of electrical conductance atomic force microscopy enabling characterization of electron tunneling through the oxide shell on silicon nanowires. Efficient in-situ monitoring greatly benefits optical-near-field processing. Due to close proximity of the probe tip with respect to the sample under processing, frequent degradation of the probe end occurs leading to unstable processing conditions. Optical-fiber-based probes have been coupled to a dual-beam (scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam) system in order to achieve in-situ monitoring and probe repair.

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Correspondence to Costas P. Grigoropoulos.

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Hwang, D., Ryu, SG., Misra, N. et al. Nanoscale laser processing and diagnostics. Appl. Phys. A 96, 289–306 (2009).

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  • 07.79.Fc
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  • 81.16.Nd