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We studied the ignition process of the plasma which is created when a pulsed CO2 laser beam irradiates a (Ti) metal sample in presence of an ambient gas. It is pointed out that the first step is due to target surface micro-defect vaporization. Then thermal ionization of the metal vapour occurs producing electrons which are heated by the inverse bremsstrahlung process. Finally. we observe an erosion plasma (which 1s dominated by the metal vapour) or a gas breakdown plasma, depending on the laserdoi:10.1051/jp4:19917192 fatcat:m52uj7u3ibgmpd4xrpfdqqzcli