Resonant-Plasmon-Assisted Subwavelength Ablation by a Femtosecond Oscillator

Liping Shi (Corresponding Author), Bianca Iwan, Quentin Ripault, J.R. Andrade, S. Han, Hyunwoong Kim, Willem Boutu, Dominik Franz, Rana Nicolas, Torsten Heidenblut, Carsten Reinhardt, Hubertus M.J. Bastiaens, G.T. Nagy, Ihar Babuskin, U. Morgner, Seung-Woo Kim, Günter Steinmeyer, Hamed Merdji, M. Kovacev (Corresponding Author)

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We experimentally demonstrate the use of subwavelength optical nanoantennas to assist a direct nanoscale ablation using the ultralow fluence of a Ti:sapphire oscillator through the excitation of surface plasmon waves. The mechanism is attributed to nonthermal transient unbonding and electrostatic ablation, which is triggered by the surface plasmon-enhanced field electron emission and acceleration in vacuum. We show that the electron-driven ablation appears for both nanoscale metallic as well as dielectric materials. While the observed surface plasmon-enhanced local ablation may limit the applications of nanostructured surfaces in extreme nonlinear nanophotonics, it, nevertheless, also provides a method for nanomachining, manipulation, and modification of nanoscale materials. Collateral thermal damage to the antenna structure can be suitably avoided, and nonlinear conversion processes can be stabilized by a dielectric overcoating of the antenna.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024001
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical review applied
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2018


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