The impact of point thermal absorbers in ablation of poly(methyl methacrylate)
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Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to study the interactions of photons with a poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, substrate and point thermal absorbers. The point thermal absorbers are embedded within the polymer matrix which can be excited and transfer energy to the surrounding particles through an internal vibrational mode. Using a fluence above the ablation threshold, two excitation channels are studied—one includes a direct heating of the polymer and the other includes the excitation of the thermal absorbers. Although the yield of ejected particles is similar for both simulations, the plume composition differs. For the simulation of the excitation of the point thermal absorbers, the plume consists of a greater number of smaller substrate fragments due to local high temperature regions.