Here we report on the effects of material strength factors on the generation of surface structure due to nonuniform laser irradiation. The influence of material strength on the generation of perturbation on a diamond surface subjected to nonuniform laser irradiation was experimentally investigated. Our previous investigations suggested that stiffer and denser materials reduce surface perturbation due to spatially nonuniform laser irradiation, which was reproduced well by calculations with multi-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation code. In this work, we found that local fractures due to yield strength failure are generated by high degrees of irradiation non-uniformity. A characteristic crack-like surface structure was observed, which was not reproduced by the 2D simulation code calculations at all. The 2D simulations showed that the pressure at the diamond surface locally exceeds the Hugoniot elastic limit due to nonuniform irradiation, implying the potential for development of surface perturbations. We also measured the areal-density distribution of perturbations for single-crystal diamond and diamond with a thin high atomic number (high-Z) coating on its surface. The experimental results imply that the combination of a stiff material and thin high-Z coating can suppress the solid-strength effects caused by large irradiation non-uniformity. The knowledge given here is applicable to inertial confinement fusion target design, laser material processing, and universal problems involving solids and high-energy-density plasmas.
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