Laser-induced vaporization of ceramics shows promise as a technique for the deposition of thin films of these materials. Critical to the utility of this technique is an understanding of the laser-material interaction, plume formation and dynamics, material transport and how variations in the vaporization conditions affect the deposited film. Lead zirconate titanate (PZT, Zr/Ti-47/53) targets were irradiated using a q-switched Nd:YAG laser (15 ns, 100 mJ at 1.064 /μm) . The deposition chamber was maintained at a pressure of 100 mTorr oxygen. Material from the plume was collected on silicon wafer substrates, suspended 1.0 - 3.0 cm above the target. The films were characterized by SEM/EDX, TEM, x-ray diffraction and electrical measurements before and after annealing. Very thin films were deposited on carbon coated metal grids for observation in the TEM using a hot stage to study crystallization.
Temporally and spatially resolved spectra of the light emitted by the laser-generated plume were obtained with an optical multichannel analyzer (0MA) to yield information on the plume generation and chemistry of the deposition process. These spectra indicate that under these conditions a plasma is created above the target surface which persists for -100 ns after the laser pulse.