PLD plasma plume analysis, a summary of the PSI contribution
We report on the properties of laser-induced plasma plumes generated by ns pulsed excimer lasers as used for pulsed laser deposition to prepare thin oxide films. A focus is on the time and spatial evolution of chemical species in the plasma plume as well as the mechanisms related to the plume expansion. The overall dynamics of such a plume is governed by the species composition in particular if three or more elements are involved. We studied the temporal evolution of the plume, the composition of the chemical species in the plasma, as well as their electric charge. In particular, ionized species can have an important influence on film growth. Likewise, the different oxygen sources contributing to the overall oxygen content of an oxide film are presented and discussed. Important for the growth of oxide thin films is the compositional transfer of light element such as oxygen or Li. We will show and discuss how to monitor these light elements using plasma spectroscopy and plasma imaging and outline some consequences of our experimental results.