Phase change and stress wave in picosecond laser-material interaction with shock wave formation

C Li and JC Zhang and XW Wang, APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, 112, 677-687 (2013).

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-013-7770-8

When background gas is present in pulsed laser-material interaction, a shock wave down to the nanoscale will emerge. The background gas will affect the phase change and explosion in the target. This study is focused on the void dynamics and stress wave in a model material (argon crystal) under picosecond pulsed laser irradiation. Our results show that existence of ambient gas and the shock wave significantly suppresses the void formation and their lifetime. Void dynamics, including their growing rate, lifetime, and size under the influence of ambient gas are studied in detail. All the voids undergo an accelerating and decelerating process in the growth. The collapsing process is almost symmetrical to the growing process. Higher laser fluence is found to induce an obvious foamy structure. Stress wave formation and propagation, temperature contour, and target and gas atom number densities are studied to reveal the underlying physical processes. Although the interaction of the plume with ambient gas significantly suppresses the void formation and phase explosion, no obvious effect is found on the stress wave within the target. Very interestingly, secondary stress waves resulting from re-deposition of ablated atoms and void collapse are observed, although their magnitude is much smaller than the directly laser-induced stress wave.

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