Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Ultrafast destructuring of laser-irradiated tungsten: Thermal or nonthermal process

Abstract : The time needed for metals to respond structurally to electronic excitation is usually considered to be set by picosecond-long electron-phonon coupling, hence limiting the rapid achievement of structural phase changes. Via time-resolved ellipsometry, we show that fs laser excitation of tungsten determines unexpectedly fast optical and structural transformations, almost on the time scale of the laser pulse, with sub-ps destructuring of matter. If at low energies, below the damage threshold, Fermi redistribution within the d-band pseudogap populates localized states that screen ions, in ablative ranges, at electronic energies above 4 eV, a charge deficit appears on bonding orbitals generating bond-softening and ionic repulsion in spite of the metallic environment. Along pressure gradients, this rapidly destabilizes the structure. Sub-ps ablation occurs, challenging thermally driven scenarios of phonon activation. First-principles and hydrodynamic models show that ablation interrelates nonclassical charge distortions, electronic stress, and classical electron-phonon dynamics, with the coexistence of thermal and nonthermal effects on scales believed to be prohibitive for the former.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Razvan Stoian <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 5:00:54 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 24, 2020 - 10:28:07 AM



Hao Zhang, Chen Li, Emile Bévillon, Guanghua Cheng, Jean-Philippe Colombier, et al.. Ultrafast destructuring of laser-irradiated tungsten: Thermal or nonthermal process. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, American Physical Society, 2016, 94 (22), pp.224103. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.94.224103⟩. ⟨ujm-01432490⟩



Record views