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Product Code: ICAL09_N204

Characterization of Aluminum, Brass and Steel Nanoparticles after Laser Ablation
Nancy Van Suetendael, Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne Beach FL USA
Kristie Powell, Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne FL USA
Susan Earles, Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne FL USA
Mary Helen Mc Cay, Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne FL USA
Ivica Kostanic, Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne FL USA
Presented at ICALEO 2009

Understanding surface properties of materials at the atomic-scale is of fundamental interest in advanced materials processing. An interdepartmental research group at Florida Institute of Technology is currently ablating samples using a state-of-the-art ultra-short pulse laser to create nanostructures. These lasers are unique because they can be used to modify or machine any substance in an athermal ablation process, independent of melt point or composition, due to the physics of non-linear optical absorption. This paper focuses on Al, Brass and Steel metals and on analyzing the nanoparticles created on each sample. Laser parameters, e.g., pulse energy, repetition rate, and number of runs were varied to optimize the ablation process. Scanning Electron Microscopy and Scanning Probe Microscopy were used to create images of the samples. SPM software then was used to process the images and to analyze the samples to determine nanostructure size, composition and surface roughness. The original images were then processed again using F.I.T.s proprietary flattening algorithm and MATLAB filters. Both image processing techniques and statistical roughness parameters were then compared. This research will culminate in a materials library where scientists can select candidate substances for developing a new class of high-temperature sensors for military, NASA and civilian aircraft.

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