The influence of the pulse duration on the laser-induced changes in a thin triazenepolymer film on a glass substrate has been
investigated for single, near-infrared (800 nm) Ti:sapphire laser pulses with durations ranging from 130 fs up to 2.6 ps. Postirradiation
optical microscopy has been used to quantitatively determine the damage threshold fluence. The latter decreases from
800 mJ/cm2 for a 2.6 ps laser pulse to 500 mJ/cm2 for a pulse duration of 130 fs. In situ real-time reflectivity (RTR)
measurements have been performed using a ps-resolution streak camera set-up to study the transformation dynamics upon
excitation with single pulses of duration of 130 fs and fluences close to the damage threshold. Very different reflectivity
transients have been observed above and below the damage threshold fluence. Above the damage threshold, an extremely
complicated behaviour with oscillations of up to 100% in the transient reflectivity has been observed. Below the damage
threshold, the transient reflectivity decreases by as much as 70% within 1 ns with a subsequent recovery to the initial level
occurring on the ms timescale. No apparent damage could be detected by optical microscopy under these irradiation conditions.
Furthermore, within the 395–410 mJ/cm2 fluence range, the transient reflectivity increases by 10%. The analysis of these
results indicates that the observed transformations are thermal in nature, in contrast to the known photochemical decomposition
of this triazenepolymer under UV irradiation.