Role of phase instabilities in the early response of bulk fused silica during laser-induced breakdown

P. Demange, R. A. Negres, R. N. Raman, J. D. Colvin, S. G. Demos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


We report on the experimental and hydrocode modeling investigation of the early material response to localized energy deposition via nanosecond laser pulses in bulk fused silica. A time-resolved microscope system was used to acquire transient images with adequate spatial and temporal resolution to resolve the material behavior from the onset of the process. These images revealed a high-pressure shock front propagating at twice the speed of sound at ambient conditions and bounding a region of modified material at delays up to one nanosecond. Hydrocode simulations matching the experimental conditions were also performed and indicated initial pressures of ∼40 GPa and temperatures of ∼1 eV at the absorption region. Both the simulations and the image data show a clear boundary between distinct material phases, a hot plasma and solid silica, with a suggestion that growth of perturbations at the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable interface between the two phases is the seed mechanism for the growth of cracks into the stressed solid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054118
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 17 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

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