New method of using laser ablation for film deposition that can be called as concurrent multi-beam multi-target matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation and pulsed laser deposition (MBMT-MAPLE/PLD) is described. Practical MBMT-MAPLE/PLD system built at Dillard University has three separate laser beams, three targets and the remotely controlled plume overlapping mechanism that provides even mixing of the target materials during their deposition on the substrate. The system accommodates MAPLE targets in the form of polymer solutions frozen with flowing liquid nitrogen. The feasibility of the method was demonstrated when it was used for making polymer nano-composite films with two inorganic additives: upconversion fluorescent phosphor NaYF4:Yb3+, Er3+ and aluminum-doped ZnO (AZO). Three laser beams, an infrared 1064-nm beam for the MAPLE and two 532-nm beams for the PLD targets, were concurrently used in the process. The fabricated nano-composite films were characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), optical fluorescent spectroscopy, and the measurement of the quantum efficiency (QE) of the upconversion fluorescence. The size of the inorganic nanoparticles varied in the range 10–200 nm. The AZO additive increased QE by 1.6 times. The conclusion was made on the feasibility of MBMT-MAPLE/PLD method for making multi-component nano-composite films for various applications.
Part of the book: Applications of Laser Ablation