We report on an experimental study of the incubation effect during irradiation of stainless steel targets with bursts of femtosecond laser pulses at 1030 nm wavelength and 100 kHz repetition rate. The bursts were generated by splitting the pristine 650-fs laser pulses using an array of birefringent crystals which provided time separations between sub-pulses in the range from 1.5 ps to 24 ps. We measured the threshold fluence in Burst Mode, finding that it strongly depends on the bursts features. The comparison with Normal Pulse Mode revealed that the existing models introduced to explain the incubation effect during irradiation with trains of undivided pulses has to be adapted to describe incubation during Burst Mode processing. In fact, those models assume that the threshold fluence has a unique value for each number of impinging pulses in NPM, while in case of BM we observed different values of threshold fluence for fixed amount of sub-pulses but different pulse splitting. Therefore, the incubation factor coefficient depends on the burst features. It was found that incubation effect is higher in BM than NPM and that it increases with the number of sub-pulses and for shorter time delays within the burst. Two-Temperature-Model simulations in case of single pulses and bursts of up to 4 sub-pulses were performed to understand the experimental results.
Caterina Gaudiuso, Giuseppe Giannuzzi, Isabelle Choquet, Pietro Mario Lugarà, and Antonio Ancona, "Incubation effect in burst mode fs-laser ablation of stainless steel samples," Proc. SPIE 10520, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XII, 105200A (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2018; Published: 19 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291612.
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