Applied Physics B

, 125:22 | Cite as

Incubation models for under-threshold laser ablation with thermal dissipation

  • R. BenocciEmail author
  • D. Batani
  • H. E. Roman


In laser incubation, the irradiated material reaches the ablation threshold after N pulses at a fluence (energy per unit area) lower than the one required for a single shot. In this work, a new unified picture of incubation is presented describing the growth rate of incubation sites in terms of an analytical expression having four parameters which can be fitted to the experimental data. Our model predicts two crossovers as a function of the pulse number N: \({N}_{\text{c}}^{\text{'}}\) and \({ N}_{\text{c}}\), describing the different incubation behaviors of materials under the action of ‘below-threshold’ laser pulses. For dielectric materials, and metals irradiated with short laser pulses, the first crossover indicates a transition from a dielectric type of surface response towards an increasingly ‘metallic’ behavior, consistent with the experimental observations. The second crossover determines the transition to the final stage of the modified surface. In this large N limit, the absorption coefficient of the surface achieves its saturation. For metals irradiated by long laser pulses, \({N}_{\text{c}}^{\text{'}}\)≃ 0 and \({N}_{\text{c}}\) ≫ 1, yielding an approximate power-law behavior of fluence versus N, over a broad range of N values, in agreement with the observations. It is found that one of the fitting parameters denoted here as the incubation exponent, δ, allows us to classify the material response as a dielectric (δ\(\gtrsim\)1) or a metallic (δ ≪ 1) one.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e del Territorio e di Scienze della TerraUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.University of Bordeaux, CNRS, CEA, CELIA (Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications)TalenceFrance
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Fisica “G. Occhialini”Università degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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