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Pulsed lasers can be used to heat and vaporise all materials in a process called laser ablation. When the plume of ablated material is significantly ionised it is called a laser produced plasma (LPP). Laser ablation is widely used in laser machining, pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of thin films for research, laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for materials analysis and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI).

The group at TCD are doing research on the physics of laser ablation and PLD of functional thin films and nanoparticles. We use both nanosecond and femtosecond lasers. We are also exploring how LPPs interact with magnetic fields and the potential of using a fast electrical discharge in LPP to heat and compress to plasma to make an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source for photolithography.

Research topics:

  • Direct current and inductive discharges in LPP
  • Development of new methods PLD at atmospheric pressure
  • PLD of nanoparticle films for SERS and catalytic applications

Current Projects

Pulsed laser deposition of thin films at atmospheric pressure (2013 – 2018) funded Science Foundation Ireland