A highly automated apparatus for ultra-fast laser ablation studies

Marnix Vreugdenhil*, Dries Van Oosten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We present a novel experimental apparatus that can be used for extensive systematic studies of (single- and multi-shot) ultra-short laser pulse ablation. It is fully automated and generates a large number of ablation sites in a short time on a small sample surface area. For each site, the apparatus takes four in situ images: an image of the incident ablation beam (to determine pulse energy), a white light reference image of the pristine sample site, an image of the reflected ablation spot, and a white light image of the ablated sample site. The setup can perform ablation experiments as a function of many parameters, including pulse energy, pulse duration, number of pulses, time between pulses, and focus size. As a proof of concept, we present example results on single-shot ablation off crystalline silicon. Using only data acquired in situ in the presented setup, we determine the single-shot ablation threshold as a function of pulse duration and verify the threshold value using optical interferometric profilometry. The values we found agree well with literature values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number073003
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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