Molecular dynamics simulations of coherent optical photon emission from shock waves in crystals

EJ Reed and M Soljacic and R Gee and JD Joannopoulos, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 75, 174302 (2007).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.75.174302

We have previously predicted that coherent electromagnetic radiation in the 1-100 THz frequency range can be generated in crystalline polarizable materials when subject to a shock wave or solitonlike propagating excitation E. J. Reed , Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 013904 (2006). In this work, we present analysis and molecular dynamics simulations of shock waves in crystalline NaCl which expand upon this prediction. We demonstrate that the coherent polarization currents responsible for the effect are generated by a nonresonant, nonlinear effect that occurs at the shock front. We consider the effect of thermal noise and various shock pressures on the coherent polarization currents and find that the amplitude generally increases with increasing shock pressure and decreasing material temperature. Finally, we present calculations of the amplitude and distribution of emitted radiation showing that the radiation can be directed or undirected under various realistic conditions of the shape of the shock front.

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