Ablation and etching of organic polymers by UV laser pulses is a nonlinear process which is seen to proceed at a significant rate only when a threshold in power density (which is a function of the polymer) is exceeded. This threshold has been interpreted1,2 as the point at which the rate of up-pumping of the chromophores in a volume element of the polymer exceeds the rate of deactivation of the excited chromophores by internal conversion of the energy into nonradiative nondecomposing channels.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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