Kinetics of ion and neutral atom emission features were compared for nanosecond laser-produced plasmas generated from several metal targets (i.e., Al, Ti, Zr, Nb, Ta) and an alloy containing all of these as principal alloying elements. Plasmas were produced by focusing 6 ns, 1064 nm pulses from an Nd:YAG laser on the targets of interest in a vacuum. A Faraday cup was used for collecting ion temporal features while spatially and temporally resolved emission spectroscopy was used for measuring the optical time of flight of various neutral atomic transitions. Our results highlight that most probable ion and atom velocities decay with increasing atomic mass. Trends for ions from the alloy target represent a weighted average where all ions contribute. For both ions and atoms, velocities decrease with increasing heat of vaporization and melting temperature, consistent with the thermal mechanisms that contribute to nanosecond laser ablation. Kinetic energies for neutral atoms from pure metal targets have some variability with atomic mass, whereas kinetic energies for atoms from the alloy target are more similar. These more similar kinetic energies observed for neutral atoms in the multi-element plasma may be attributed to collisions between species from all elements in the Knudsen layer.
Comparing the kinetics of ionized and neutral atoms from single and multi-element laser-produced plasmas
Elizabeth J. Kautz, Mark C. Phillips, Prasoon K. Diwakar, Alla Zelenyuk, Sivanandan S. Harilal; Comparing the kinetics of ionized and neutral atoms from single and multi-element laser-produced plasmas. Phys. Plasmas 1 May 2023; 30 (5): 052106. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0146958
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