The dynamics of the gas phase induced by excimer laser ablation of Ge is investigated by analyzing the light emitted by the plume. Space and time‐resolved optical spectroscopy measurements indicate the presence of both, neutral (Gei) and ionized (Geii) species. Two populations of neutrals with different velocities, which are related to the neutral atoms directly ejected from the target and those which are produced by recombination of ions, are observed. The velocities of the species remain unchanged for oxygen pressures up to 1 mbar, which suggest that the expansion of the plume occurs without further collisions with the foreign gas in this pressure range. The spectral emission characteristics are consistent with plume dynamics initiated by charged species.