In earlier work we reported the consequences of simultaneous exposure of polymers to mechanical stress and electron bombardment. In this study we examine the response of highly stressed polyimide films to excimer laser radiation (20 ns pulses @ 248 nm wavelength) in air. The exposed surfaces show evidence of surface and near surface damage, crack initiation, and eventually crack growth over a wide range of applied stress and laser fluence. These results show that the morphology of the stressed material has a significant influence on the resulting damage and suggest that the regions of highest damage are those experiencing the highest local stress. A growth of nodules on the polyimide surface are also observed which are missing when exposed in vacuum.
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Tonyali, K., Jensen, L.C. & Dickinson, J.T. Excimer Laser Induced Damage in Stressed Polyimide Films Exposed in Air. MRS Online Proceedings Library 100, 665 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-100-665