During the pulsed laser ablation of metals, as well as other materials, the development of a plasma plume close to the ablated surface leads to the emission of radio frequency energy. In this paper, we describe a process for analysing the received radio
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During the pulsed laser ablation of metals, as well as other materials, the development of a plasma plume close to the ablated surface leads to the emission of radio frequency energy. In this paper, we describe a process for analysing the received radio frequency power (RFP
) for an aluminium (Al) surface ablation process in atmosphere using picosecond laser pulses at a wavelength of 1064 nm. The analysis of the RFP
was carried out on two sets of experiments, where two parameters of the laser (repetition rate of laser (RRL
) and power of laser (PL
)) were varied while other parameters remained constant. In addition to the RFP
measurement during the laser processing, the spatter area (SA), which is defined in this paper, and the depth of the ablated hole were measured post-process using a 3D microscope. It was observed that there is a direct relationship between (RFP
and SA. Accordingly, an appropriate RF calibration was performed, which leads to the definition of a quantity called the RF regulation % (RFR
%). By comparing the RFR
variations, to which the laser beam fluence is proportional in these experiments, a diagnostic process (i.e., flowchart) for real-time depth evaluation was proposed and experimentally confirmed. This diagnostic process can indicate if the depth of the laser ablated crater is less than or exceeds a predetermined depth, which in this study was set to 15 µm. It is also demonstrated that the SA variation can be estimated in real-time by analysing the received RF power and, secondly, the depth of ablation can be measured in real time using a combination of information from the received RF power and laser parameters.