The European Physical Journal Applied Physics

Laser and Optics

Electrical analysis of femtosecond laser pulse absorption in silicon

E. Coynea1a2, G. M. O'Connora2 and T. J. Glynna2

Analog Devices, Raheen, Limerick, Ireland

National Center for Laser Applications (NCLA), National University of Ireland-Galway, Galway, Ireland


We report a study of femtosecond laser pulse absorption of wafer grade silicon with an average pulse duration of 150 fs, centred on a wavelength of 775 nm. The electrical response of the laser excited carriers, over a range of fluences up to the ablation threshold for silicon is analysed. The silicon used for the experiments is a uniformly doped P-type wafer with a concentration of 1 × 1012 cm−3 throughout its volume. The purpose of this work is to use the electrical properties of the excited carriers as a method for analysing the interaction between femtosecond pulses and the silicon lattice below the ablation threshold, and to determine the evolution of the excited carriers after the femtosecond pulse is absorbed in silicon. This paper uses simulation software to solve the ambipolar continuity equation for the evolution of the excited carrier group given the initial values and boundary conditions of the experimental system. The paper derives results for the total number of excited carriers created as a function of laser fluence, in addition to the bulk excited carrier dynamics and lifetime after femtosecond laser excitation. Based on the results for the total number of excited carriers as a function of the average laser fluence, a value of 0.09 J cm−2 is measured as the fluence where lattice defects started to reduce the effective quantity of carriers that could be detected and hence indicated incubation lattice damage.

(Received August 12 2005)

(Revised November 18 2005)

(Accepted January 6 2006)

(Online publication June 24 2006)


  • 42.62.-b – Laser applications;
  • 72.20.Jv – Charge carriers: generation, recombination, lifetime, and trapping;
  • 78.68.+m – Optical properties of surfaces;
  • 71.35.Ee – Electron-hole drops and electron-hole plasma