Abstract

The ablated depth and volume per laser pulse from an aluminum target were measured for pulse durations that ranged from 80 fs to 270 ps at an average fluence of ~100 J/cm2 and a wavelength of 0.8 μm. The ablated volume showed a flat maximum for subpicosecond pulses and a minimum for ~6 ps. The crater diameters were rather constant up to pulse durations of ~6 ps and increased for larger pulse durations. As a result, the ablated depth also showed a plateau for subpicosecond pulses but decreased monotonically with pulse duration. A physical interpretation of these results and their consequences for laser applications are discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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