Pulsed Laser Ablation in Liquids (PLAL) is a technique where a solid target, placed inside a liquid filled vessel, is irradiated with a laser beam. The liquid does not dissolve nor interacts chemically with the target. As the laser irradiates the sample, at an appropiate fluence and wavelengt where the solid material absorbs light, an ablation plume will form and material ejection occurs. As the ejected material reaches the liquid phase, precipitation takes place and, generally, nanostructures are formed. For example, in a previous work by Cueto et al, from the LANAMAP group, authors showed the preparation of platinum nanospheres using PLAL in water, which crystallinity depended on the wavelegnth used. Also, authors demonstrated that a difference in the particle shape could be found by playing with the nature of the liquid media.
Following these ideas, in our recent publication we have showed the possibility of preparing nanoparticles by PLAL using a polymer target. Here, poly(bisphenol A carbonate) was selected as target considering its readily processability, glass transition temperature and good light absorption at 266 nm. We have shown that it is possible to prepare nanoparticles by PLAL, which size and shape depend strongly on the laser beam fluence. Moreover, we have also tested different liquid media with strongly different properties. We observed that by chaging the liquid it was possible to obtain nanoparticles with different geometries: rods, spheres, toroids, etc. We explained these results based on thermal conductivity and viscosity of the liquids.