In the case of laser ablation of monolayers the final vapor phase etch products arise from a series of steps, i.e., absorption of the etch beam, alteration of the surface state, vaporization, and laser → plume excitations. While numerous works have dealt with each of these steps, only a minor fraction of them has dealt with the details of the chemical and physical alteration of the surface and, in particular alterations which allow large band gap insulators to absorb UV photons giving rise to vaporization.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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