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Femtosecond Laser Excitation and Ablation of Silicon: Basic Studies (pp. 71-102) $100.00
Authors:  (Sergey I. Kudryashov, P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia)
A complete sequence of electronic and thermal processes  electronic dynamics,
lattice heating and melting, sub-surface cavitation, sub-critical spallative and supercritical
fragmentation ablation of the molten layer  on silicon surface excited by ultrashort
(femtosecond) laser pulses was studied using a broad variety of complementary
experimental tools.
First, time-resolved optical reflection microscopy demonstrated an optical photoresponse
of silicon via prompt modulation of interband transitions rate owing to electronhole
plasma driven band spectrum renormalization, rather than intraband carrier
transitions. The ionization-limiting Auger recombination, being stimulated by the
electronic bandgap renormalization and yielding in hot carrier generation, provides
enhanced direct emission of such electrons owing to the simultaneous renormalization of
the material higher energy states and the work function, in particular. Simultaneously,
surface electromagnetic (plasmon-polaritonic) wave was excited on the atomically
smooth wafer surface within the femtosecond laser spot through the efficient laser pump
pulse diffraction on the optically inhomogeneous photoexcitation region, and visualized
as a transient reflection grating.
Second, femtosecond laser thermal melting on silicon surface was revealed and
characterized watching transient modulation of silicon optical probe reflection by
acoustic reverberations in the melting surface layer. Sub-nanosecond sub-surface
cavitation within the surface melt appeared in the form of a few oscillatory dips on the
reflectivity plateau of its thermally expanded, acoustically relaxed sub-nanosecond state.
Sub-critical melt spallation was optically visualized as Newton interference rings,
emerging on the bubble-like spalled layer surface due to the interference between the
probe pulse replica reflected from the spalled layer and melt surface, and was
characterized in terms of delay times and lift-off velocities. Finally, high-fluence intense
ablation of silicon was characterized in terms of driving internal pressure and expansion
speed of its supercritical fluid by time-resolved optical microscopy, non-contact
ultrasonic diagnostics of air shock waves and spatially resolved optical emission
spectroscopy of ablative plume. These experimental findings are supported by our noncontact
ultrasonic diagnostics of the corresponding ablation plumes, scanning electron,
atomic force and optical interference microscopy characterization of the resulting craters.
The presented enlightening complete picture of femtosecond laser-driven electronic
and thermal processes on silicon surfaces provides the important basic input for diverse
femtosecond laser machining applications of silicon. 

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Femtosecond Laser Excitation and Ablation of Silicon: Basic Studies (pp. 71-102)