Influence of pulse repetition rate on morphology and material removal rate of ultrafast laser ablated metallic surfaces

Abstract : Ultrafast laser ablation is an efficient method for precise micro-machining. Thanks to the recent development of high repetition rate ultrafast lasers, high speed laser scanning of surfaces is more and more employed to generate micro-/nano-surface structures on metals for a vast variety of applications. Issues associated with these lasers are also identified in micro-machining practice. It is commonly believed that, due to possible shielding effects, the conditions of high fluences and high repetition rates compromise an efficient material removal. However, in this study, based on topography and differential weighing evaluations, we report that the material removal rate holds constant even in sub-MHz regime, up to about 20 J/cm 2. The morphology of the post-irradiated surface is found to be determined not only by laser processing conditions but also by the material properties on the other hand. Two trends are experimentally identified in surface laser ablation of Ni, Cu, titanium alloy TA6V and stainless steel 316L: while the former two show a low roughness (Ra below 0.5 μm) at all irradiation conditions , the machining quality of the two later ones degrades rapidly with increasing fluences and repetition rates. In such a scenario, a rugged surface layer of 10-20 μm thickness is formed with the presence of numerous subsurface voids. Microstructural analysis is carried out in order to infer physical transition involved in the micro-machining process. Possible mechanisms accounting for the observation are discussed, especially those related to the electron-phonon coupling, plasma dwelling, and capillary waves. These insights pave the way for tailored, material dependent optimizations of ultrafast laser micro-machining processes.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 22, 2019 - 6:05:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 1:52:06 AM

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X. Sedao, M. Lenci, A. Rudenko, N. Faure, A. Pascale-Hamri, et al.. Influence of pulse repetition rate on morphology and material removal rate of ultrafast laser ablated metallic surfaces. Optics and Lasers in Engineering, Elsevier, 2019, 116, pp.68-74. ⟨10.1016/j.optlaseng.2018.12.009⟩. ⟨ujm-02018899⟩

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