Laser ablation is the process of removing material
from a solid (or occasionally liquid) surface by irradiating it with a laser beam. At low laser
flux, the material is heated by the absorbed laser
energy and evaporates or sublimates. At high laser flux, the material is typically converted to a plasma
ablation refers to removing material with a pulsed laser,
but it is possible to ablate material with a continuous wave laser beam if the laser
intensity is high enough.