Electronic and Structural Response of Nanomaterials to Ultrafast and Ultraintense Laser Pulses Academic Article uri icon


  • The interaction of materials with ultrafast and ultraintense laser pulses is a current frontier of science both experimentally and theoretically. In this review, we briefly discuss some recent theoretical studies by the present authors with our method of semiclassical electron-radiation-ion dynamics (SERID). In particular, Zhou et al. and Jiang et al. respectively, determined the optimal duration and optimal timing for a series of femtosecond scale laser pulses to excite a specific vibrational mode in a general chemical system. A set of such modes can be used as a "fingerprint" for characterizing a particular molecule or a complex in a solid. One can therefore envision many applications, ranging from fundamental studies to detection of chemical or biological agents. Allen et al. proved that dimers are preferentially emitted during photofragmentation of C60 under an ultrafast and ultraintense laser pulse. For interactions between laser pulses and semiconductors, e.g., GaAs, Si and InSb, besides experimentally accessible optical properties--epsilon(omega) and chi(2)-Allen et al. offered many other indicators to confirm the nonthermal nature of structural changes driven by electronic excitations and occurring during the first few hundred femtoseconds. Lin et al. found that, after the application of a femtosecond laser pulse, excited electrons in materials automatically equilibrate to a Fermi-Dirac distribution within roughly 100 fs, solely because of their coupling to the nuclear motion, even though the resulting electronic temperature is one to two orders of magnitude higher than the kinetic temperature defined by the nuclear motion.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiang, C., Zhou, X., Lin, Z., Xie, R., Li, F., & Allen, R. E.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • February 2014