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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Early time dynamics of laser-ablated silicon using ultrafast grazing incidence X-ray scattering

  • Author(s): Hull, C
  • Raj, S
  • Lam, R
  • Katayama, T
  • Pascal, T
  • Drisdell, WS
  • Saykally, R
  • Schwartz, CP
  • et al.

Controlling the morphology of laser-derived nanomaterials is dependent on developing a better understanding of the particle nucleation dynamics in the ablation plume. Here, we utilize the femtosecond-length pulses from an x-ray free electron laser to perform time-resolved grazing incidence x-ray scattering measurements on a laser-produced silicon plasma plume. At 20 ps we observe a dramatic increase in the scattering amplitude at small scattering vectors, which we attribute to incipient formation of liquid silicon droplets. These results demonstrate the utility of XFELs as a tool for characterizing the formation dynamics of nanomaterials in laser-produced plasma plumes on ultrafast timescales.

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