Liquid layer thickness dependence of 515 nm, 7 picosecond pulsed laser ablation of stainless steel 304 and silicon is analyzed. Ablated crater volume and diameter are compared to ablated craters in ambient air by means of a novel, objective numerical procedure. While silicon ablation under a water layer is found to be more efficient in terms of removed material volume per pulse than ablation in ambient air, an opposite trend is found for stainless steel 304. For both materials, the ablation efficiently drops when the liquid layer thickness is decreased to 1 milimeter. A probable reason for the ablation efficiency drop is persistent bubble formation.
- Stainless steel