Laser Ablation

Our instrument has the capability of generating molecules via laser ablation. A 10 ns pulse from the second harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser (532 nm) is focused onto a sample of a refractory material (e.g., a metal or a salt) causing it to vaporize. The vapor is entrained in a carrier gas and swept into the spectrometer, allowing us to take gas phase spectra of species that are not normally found in the gas phase.  Check out the pictures below. On the left is the apparatus which was designed to rotate and translate a solid sample pellet, exposing new surfaces as the experiment progresses. In the center is the result of ablating a solid salt. The right shows a fun picture of the lab when the laser is firing.

Laser Ablation Photos