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Laser ablation and thin film deposition

Contact person: Erik Wagenaars

Pulsed-Laser Deposition (PLD) is a technique that is widely used in industry and academia for the deposition of thin-film materials such as metal oxides. There are several plasma processes involved in PLD and laser ablation is one of the key ones. In PLD, a nanosecond-pulsed lasers at visible or UV wavelength is focussed on a solid target, ablating the target material and creating an expanding plasma plume. This plume subsequently deposits as a thin film on a substrate downstream from the laser-target interaction point.
In order to accurately control the production process and thin-film properties, it is important to have a detailed understanding of the underlying physics and chemistry. Studying the laser ablation process, both in experiments and numerical modelling, is an essential part of this work and more details can be found on the thin films website.

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Figure 2. Laser ablation in Pulsed-Laser Deposition (PLD). Left: Numerical simulation of the plasma density in a PLD laser ablation process. Right: Photo of a laser ablation plume in a PLD experiment.