Experimental and theoretical studies of particle generation after laser ablation of copper with a background gas at atmospheric pressure Academic Article uri icon


  • Laser ablation has proven to be an effective method for generating nanoparticles; particles are produced in the laser induced vapor plume during the cooling stage. To understand the in situ condensation process, a series of time resolved light scattering images was recorded and analyzed. Significant changes in the condensation rate and the shape of the condensed aerosol plume were observed in two background gases, helium and argon. The primary particle shape and size distributions were measured using a transmission electron microscope, a scanning electron microscope, and a differential mobility analyzer. The gas dynamics simulation included nucleation and coagulation within the vapor plume, heat and mass transfer from the vapor plume to the background gas, and heat transfer to the sample. The experimental data and the calculated evolution of the shape of the vapor plume showed the same trend for the spatial distribution of the condensed particles in both background gases. The simulated particle size distribution also qualitatively agreed with the experimental data. It was determined that the laser energy, the physical properties of the background gas (conductivity, diffusivity, and viscosity), and the shape of the ablation system (ablation chamber and the layout of the sample) have strong effects on the condensation process and the subsequent sizes, shapes, and degree of aggregation of the particles. © 2007 American Institute of Physics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wen, S., Mao, X., Greif, R., & Russo, R. E.

citation count

  • 39

publication date

  • June 2007