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Combined Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Laser Desorption from Metal Oxide Surfaces

EMSL Project ID


Laser ablation and desorption techniques are used to produce novel materials, perform sophisticated chemical analysis, and modify nanostructured materials. Although laser ablation/desorption techniques are utilized extensively across a diverse range of disciplines, detailed atomic-scale understanding of the mechanisms involved remains elusive. The mechanisms are difficult to generalize for two main reasons: 1) both primary laser-solid interaction and subsequent particle emission include several inter-related elementary processes such photo-excitation, energy transfer, charge-trapping, and atomic diffusion and 2) mechanisms of such elementary processes can strongly depend on the material properties and the energy of the primary photo-excitation. For example, laser excitation may occur through linear or nonlinear mechanisms and can take place at regular bulk lattice sites, at a variety of surface lattice sites, and at defects. Further complexity is introduced by the many-body electronic dynamics that ultimately lead to particle emission. To obtain detailed understanding of laser desorption processes, a collaborative experimental and theoretical effort is essential. This request is for support of a joint experimental and theoretical study of desorption following surface and bulk laser excitation of ionic crystals.

Project Details

Project type
Large-Scale EMSL Research
Start Date
End Date


Principal Investigator

Petr Sushko
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Team Members

Niranjan Govind
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Karol Kowalski
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Wayne Hess
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Alan Joly
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Related Publications

Beck KM, AG Joly, and WP Hess. 2010. "Effect of Surface Charge on Laser-induced Neutral Atom Desorption." Applied Physics A, Materials Science and Processing 101(1):61-64. doi:10.1007/s00339-010-5758-1
Shluger AL, KP Mckenna, PV Sushko, DM Ramo, and AV Kimmel. 2009. "Modelling of electron and hole trapping in oxides." Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering 17(084004):21. doi:10.1088/0965-0393/17/8/084004
Sushko PV, AL Shluger, AG Joly, KM Beck, and WP Hess. 2010. "Exciton-driven highly hyperthermal O-atom desorption from nanostructured CaO." PNNL-SA-74573, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.
Sushko PV, KP Mckenna, D Munoz Ramo, AL Shlyuger, S Stankic, A Sternig, M Muller, and OE Diwald. 2010. "Photoluminescence Properties of Alkaline-Earth Oxide Nanoparticles." ECS Transactions 28(3):67-80. doi:10.1149/1.3367212