Indexed on: 01 Oct '08Published on: 01 Oct '08Published in: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Molecular dynamics simulations are used to elucidate mechanisms of ablation in dopant-polymer systems. In one set of simulations, a uniform distribution of thermal absorbers are added to a polymethyl methacrylate substrate and are excited. Chemical decomposition occurs in the regions near the absorbers. Ejection of large pieces of substrate then follows the thermo-chemical breakdown of material. In another set of simulations, an absorbing cluster is embedded in the polymethyl methacrylate substrate at a depth of 50 or 250 A. Only the particles comprising the cluster are excited during the laser pulse. Ejection of material is initiated upon the fracture of the cluster and the cleavage of the surrounding polymer bonds with little chemical damage during the process. These two mechanisms of ejection suggest different pathways of ablation in doped polymer materials.