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Because the sequence of events that leads to laser ablation, which may be defined as the collective ejection of matter (ions, atoms, clusters, nanoparticles, etc.) following irradiation by ultrashort, intense bursts of light, is formidably complex, the usual analytical tools of theoretical physics are unable to account for the whole spectrum of relevant processes taking place in the target, and thus cannot provide a thorough understanding of the physical mechanisms that underlie the phenomenon, as well as the physical nature of the structural modifications inflicted to the system following the absorption of energetic photons, notably in the so-called heataffected zone. To make the problem even more difficult, the process takes place on an unusually wide range of length and timescales. In view of these difficulties, computer simulations are, in spite of their limitations, an excellent route to understanding the physics of ablation [1–11], very nicely complementing experiment [12–14]. In particular, the numerical models developed by our group—Perez et al.[5, 7–9] and Lorazo et al.[6, 10, 11]—have provided a comprehensive picture of the mechanisms that underlie ablation in the thermal regime (as opposed to the non-thermal regime, where the physics is dominated by complex electronic effects such as plasma formation and Coulomb explosion). It has been demonstrated, in particular, that different routes are available for ablation to occur, viz. spallation (ejection of fragments of material following the passage of a tensile stress wave), phase explosion (decomposition of a thermodynamically metastable homogeneous liquid into a mixture of liquid droplets and gas …
Publication date: 
22 Feb 2012

Laurent Lewis, D Perez

Biblio References: 
Pages: 111-156
Laser Ablation in Liquids. Principles and Applications in the Preparation of Nanomaterials; Yang, G., Ed