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Research for Improvement in Laser-Manufacturing Technique

Data related to the properties of ultrafast laser pulses have been collected by engineers, which will give rise to new applications in diagnostics, manufacturing, and other research.

Ultrafast laser pulses are employed to generate surface textures and features in ceramics metals, and various other materials that are being utilized for the manufacture of biosensors and solar cells. The lasers pulse at 100 fs, or quadrillionths of a second duration cause electrons to attain over 60,000° C temperature throughout the pulse duration. The pulses generate accurate patterns through the ‘cold ablation’ process, which transforms material into a consistency of charged particles.

A professor of mechanical engineering and director of Purdue University's Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing, Yung Shin says that tiny mushroom clouds dissonantly similar in appearance to those produced in nuclear explosion were exhibited. The clouds undergo external expansion over 100 to 1,000 times speed compared with that of sound within less than 1ns. However, new inventions show that prior to the mushroom cloud, an earlier cloud is identified and this early plasma obstructs the performance of the laser pulses.

In order to study the phenomenon, researchers used experiments and simulations and the research papers were published online on Dec. 6 in Applied Physics Letters and in the journal Physics of Plasmas in September. The papers were prepared by the mechanical engineering professor Galen King, and doctoral student Wenqian Hu, Shin.

The early plasma was detected by observing the motion of millions of individual atoms in the plasma, the movement of laser beam in space and its interaction with plasma using a laser pump probe shadowgraph. A wide range of optical elements and mirrors were employed in the shadowgraph technique.

Source: http://www.purdue.edu/

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