Numerical Modeling of 193-nm Excimer Laser Ablation on CR-39 Polymer
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Laser polymer processing has evolved into an important field of applied and fundamental research. Allyl diglycol carbonate or CR-39 is considered an important polymer for use in optical and medical applications since it is a hard and infusible thermoset plastic that is insoluble in all solvents. The temperature distribution of CR-39 when subjected to irradiation during 193-nm excimer laser ablation was investigated. An effective simulation was developed to reflect the effects of polymer thermal diffusion, laser fluence, beam geometry, and number of pulses. A two-dimensional finite element model was used to predict the temperature distribution and ablation depth in the plastic CR-39 polymer under the 193-nm laser ablation process. The photochemical threshold ablation fluence was 750 mJ/cm2 for a single laser pulse, but dropped to 240 mJ/cm2 for repetitive laser pulses. At higher fluence, thermal effects exhibited a slight contribution to the ablation process. For fluence ≥ 750 mJ/cm2, the ablation depth increased abruptly. It can thus be inferred that the rate of temperature increase with pulse number increased concomitantly with the fluence. Thus, thermal effects are a significant factor in the ablation process.
KeywordsExcimer laser ablation CR-39 ablation threshold
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