This paper experimentally investigated the fabrication and optimization of micro-scale gratings formed by nanosecond laser etching. The mechanism of nanosecond laser processing and the geometric phase analysis (GPA) are discussed, and the factors influencing the fabrication process including laser energy, laser fluence, and ablation threshold of material, are experimentally studied. In order to eliminate the dependence of the processing parameters on the samples, depositing Al film on a sample before laser processing is proposed for the fabrication of high-quality gratings. The energy of the laser pulse is optimized for clear line etching on Al film considering the distance between adjacent lines of parallel gratings. The optimal energy of the laser pulse is 9.8 μJ, and the optimum fluence is 9.5 J/mm2
with the waist radius of the laser beam 25.7 μm. With the optimal parameters, experimental results indicate that the highest frequency of parallel gratings is about 30 lines/mm, with a line width of 29 μm, and the distance between two adjacent laser pulses being of 10 μm. By performing tensile tests, micro-scale gratings fabricated on specimens are experimentally verified. The verification tests prove that the proposed fabrication method for the micro-scale gratings in GPA measurements is reliable and applicable, and the micro-scale gratings can be fabricated in many areas of interest, such as the crack tip, for deformation measurements. Furthermore, the adhesion between the Al film and the tested sample is strong enough so that the pattern sticks well to the sample.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited