The physical mechanisms for damage formation in graphite films induced by femtosecond laser pulses are analyzed using a microscopic electronic theory. We describe the nonequilibrium dynamics of electrons and lattice by performing molecular dynamics simulations on time-dependent potential energy surfaces. We show that graphite has the unique property of exhibiting two distinct laser-induced structural instabilities. For high absorbed energies (>3.3eV/atom) we find nonequilibrium melting followed by fast evaporation. For low intensities above the damage threshold (>2.0eV/atom) ablation occurs via removal of intact graphite sheets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)