The study, titled Dual-wavelength femtosecond laser-induced single-shot damage and ablation of silicon, was authored by Alexander V. Bulgakov (Nanomaterials team leader), Juraj Sládek (post-doc), Jan Hrabovský (Ph.D. Student, Pulsed laser deposition), Inam Mirza (team leader of Pulsed laser deposition), Wladimir Marine (senior researcher: Nanomaterials) a Nadezhda M. Bulgakova (head of Scientific Laser Applications).
An experimental and theoretical study of laser-induced damage and ablation of silicon by two individual femtosecond pulses of different wavelengths, 1030 and 515 nm, is performed to address the physical mechanisms of dual-wavelength ablation and reveal possibilities for increasing the ablation efficiency. The produced craters and damaged areas are analyzed as a function of laser fluence and time separation between the pulses and are compared with monochromatic irradiation. The order of pulses is demonstrated to be essential in bi-color ablation with higher material removal rates when a shorter-wavelength pulse arrives first at the surface. Simulations based on the two-temperature model show that the visible pulse is profitable for the generation of the electron-hole plasma while the delayed IR pulse is efficiently absorbed in the plasma enhancing energy coupling to the target. At long delays of 30–100 ps, the dual-wavelength ablation is found to be particularly strong with formation of deep smooth craters. This is explained by the expansion of a hot liquid layer produced by the first pulse with a drastic decrease in the surface reflectivity at this timescale. The results provide insight into the processes of dual-wavelength laser ablation offering a better control of the energy deposition into material.