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Detection of Mechanical Deformation Induced by Ultrafast Laser Irradiation upon a Metallic Cantilever

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posted on 2023-04-12, 16:00 authored by Takuto Ichikawa, Aizitiaili Abulikemu, Muneaki Hase
In this work, we systematically investigated the ultrafast optical properties of aluminum (Al) thin films on silicon cantilevers using a microscopic femtosecond optical pump-probe technique to explore the effect of light irradiation upon cantilevers while considering radiation pressure and photothermal effects. The ultrafast laser pulses used for the study were less than 30 fs in pulse duration and 830 nm in wavelength, and the photon energy (1.49 eV) of the light pulses is close to the interband transition threshold (ITT) of Al. Therefore, the change in ITT due to the strain of the cantilevers induced by the light irradiation is detected through the change in the transient reflectivity, which is dominated by the thermalized (Th) electron signal. We uncovered the position dependency of the transient reflectivity change and the Th electronic signal amplitude of the 100 nm-thick Al films on 160 $\mu$m, 200 $\mu$m and 240 $\mu$m-length cantilevers, and these results are in excellent agreement with two temperature model-based curve fits. Furthermore, to understand the effect of light irradiation, we derived equations for the position-dependent radiation pressure effect and the photothermal effect, and demonstrated that thermal expansion-induced changes in ITT dominate the position dependence of the signal intensity. Our findings offer avenues for exploring strain effects on ultrafast properties and applications for ultrafast scanning probe microscopy.

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