Using a transverse-flow 4-kW CO2 laser, a group of scientists from F.-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, produced nanosize zirconia particles. The particles are prized for their extremely small dimension and shape. The group used two Q-switching techniques to generate pulses between 1 and 500 µs to induce evaporation. They found that evaporation rates, as well as the diameter of the particles and their density distributions, were dependent on the laser power, pulse shape and properties of the carrier gas. Details of the work appeared in the February issue of the Journal of Laser Applications.