Laser-induced desorption of polyatomic molecules with a CO2 laser

E. G. Seebauer, A. C.F. Kong, L. D. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser-induced thermal desorption (LITD) has been increasingly employed as a tool for investigating surface processes. In LITD, a pulsed laser beam that is focused onto a surface induces a rapid temperature rise that causes desorption. In spite of the success enjoyed by the CO2 laser in studies of diatomic molecules, its use with polyatomic molecules is shown to be severely limited by laser-induced dissociation. In desorption experiments with CH3OH, HCOOH, CH3NH2 and NH3 dissociation occurs only when the laser frequency coincides with an infrared absorption band of the molecule. Fragmentation may take place either on the surface or in the dense gas phase present above the surface during the laser pulse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-390
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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