A system of gas-assisted laser machining is provided. The system includes a nozzle that delivers a gas jet at the surface of the work piece and a laser source that can focus a laser beam on the surface of the work piece. A mixture of a reactive gas and a carrier gas is provided via the gas jet. The reactive gas reacts with the material and helps to enhance the evaporation rate of the material and at the same time helps reduce the temperature at which the enhanced evaporation rate can be achieved. Use of reactive gases also helps to reduce the residual stress on the material, minimize material flow during evaporation, reduce re-deposited material, and eliminate rims on the pit structures formed as a result of the material removal.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.