The technique of laser evaporation for the deposition of thin films has been applied to a large class of materials including oxides, fluorides and II-VI semiconductors. The evaporations were performed in high vacuum or under O2 pressures of 10−3 Torr, on several types of substrates, by using CO2 lasers in CW and pulse modes. The thin films thus obtained have been characterized for their structural, optical and electrical properties.
Entire ranges of mixtures in several binary systems (e.g., SnO2-SiO2), have been obtained by coevaporation, using mirrors to steer the laser beam among sources.
Conditions that affect the stoichiometry and structural properties (laser parameters, background pressure, evaporation rate, substrate temperature) have been established for each material system. Differences in the evaporation behavior of materials under CW and pulsed conditions have been investigated for the case of ZnO. Present and future applications of this technique in the optical devices field are also discussed.