We compare laser-induced condensation by UV laser pulses of femtosecond, sub-picosecond, and nanosecond duration between each other, as well as with respect to near-infrared (NIR) (800 nm) ultrashort laser pulses. Particle nucleation by UV pulses is so efficient that their growth beyond several hundreds of nm is limited by the local concentration of water vapour molecules. Furthermore, we evidence a dual mechanism: While condensation induced by ultrashort UV pulses rely on nitrogen photo-oxidative chemistry like in the NIR, nanosecond laser-induced condensation occurs without NO2 production, evidencing the domination of a mechanism distinct from that previously identified in the femtosecond regime.
Received 17 October 2012Accepted 21 February 2013Published online 07 March 2013
We gratefully acknowledge Bruno Neininger (ZHAW, Zurich, Switzerland) for lending us the NOx detection system and TSI Inc. for providing us with the fast nanoscale particle systems. This work was supported by the European Research Council Advanced Grant “Filatmo.”
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