Two-temperature thermodynamic and kinetic properties of transition metals irradiated by femtosecond lasers
We consider the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of Nickel as an example of transition metal in two-temperature state (Te≫Ti,) produced by femtosecond laser heating. Our physical model includes essential processes induced in metals by ultrafast laser energy absorption. Specifically, the electron-ion collision frequency was obtained from recent high-temperature measurements of electrical conductivity and electron-electron screened Coulomb scattering was calculated by taking into account s-s and s-d collisions. In addition, chemical potential, energy, heat capacity, and pressure were obtained from first-principles density functional theory calculations. This model was implemented in two-temperature hydrodynamic code (2T-HD) and combined with molecular dynamics (MD) to determine strength of molten Ni at high strain rates ∼108-109s-1 under conditions of femtosecond laser ablation experiments. The simulated ablation threshold, which depends on material strength, was found to be in good agreement with our experimental measurements reported here. The combined 2T-HD/MD modeling explains the surprisingly high experimental energy density necessary to initiate ablation in Ni (the experimental crater depth in Ni is several times smaller than in Al and Au, while ablation threshold energies are similar).