A polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric transducer is used for time-resolved measurements of shock waves generated by a KrF excimer laser irradiating a thin Nickel foil. Pressure loading due to both thermal expansion and surface evaporation is measured. The peak pressure of the shock wave increases with laser fluence, and the stress behind the shock reaches 390 bar at a laser fluence of 3.7 J/cm2. The mechanical coupling efficiency during laser-metal interaction is estimated for laser fluences between 0.72 and 3.7 J/cm2. The measurement results reveal prolonged pressure loading at the target surface after the termination of laser pulse, which is due to superheating of the surface layer during laser ablation.

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