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Insights into Laser-Matter Interaction from Inside: Wealth of Processes, Multiplicity of Mechanisms and Possible Roadmaps for Energy Localization

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Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring

Part of the book series: Springer Series in Optical Sciences ((SSOS,volume 239))

Abstract

Short and ultrashort laser pulses are nowadays an integral part of up-to-date technological solutions in many areas from material micro-/nanoprocessing and synthesis of new materials to quantum computing and biomedicine. The number of laser applications in science and industries is growing precipitously with tendencies of enhancing laser processing precision and reproducibility toward creation of extremely tiny objects. Coupling more laser energy into a smaller material volume in a controllable way is one of the grand challenges, which can only be achieved through a deep understanding of a wealth of the laser-triggered transient processes at different spatiotemporal scales.

The objective of this chapter is to provide a review of the main fundamental linear and nonlinear processes excited by ultrafast lasers in different kinds of materials with the aim to reveal and highlight possible mechanisms, which would enable extreme localization of energy absorption. After summarizing existing knowledge on laser-induced phenomena that includes mechanisms of laser light absorption, heat transfer peculiarities, energy thermalization at ultrafast time scales, and related hydrodynamic phenomena, an overview is given on novel insights into highly nonequilibrium processes gained in recent years via quantum and molecular dynamics simulations. The fundamental part is followed by an analysis of possible techniques and processes, which could enable extreme localization of laser energy absorption both on the surface of material samples and in the bulk. Finally, as an example of laser energy localization alternating at nanoscale, laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) are discussed. The multiplicity of the mechanisms is demonstrated via a rigorous theoretical analysis and simulations.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    We consider here laser pulse durations that are shorter than the electron-phonon coupling time τ e−ph. In general, the heating time (and the corresponding depth of the heated layer) is given by the maximum between the coupling time and the pulse duration, \(\mbox{max}\left (\tau _{\mathrm {e-ph}}, \tau \right )\).

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Acknowledgements

The research of T. J.-Y. D., Y. L. and N. M. B. is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the state budget of the Czech Republic (project BIATRI, No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000445; project HiLASE CoE, No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_006/0000674).

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Derrien, T.J.Y., Levy, Y., Bulgakova, N.M. (2023). Insights into Laser-Matter Interaction from Inside: Wealth of Processes, Multiplicity of Mechanisms and Possible Roadmaps for Energy Localization. In: Stoian, R., Bonse, J. (eds) Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring. Springer Series in Optical Sciences, vol 239. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-14752-4_1

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