The influence of particle size on the fluid dynamics of a laser induced plasma



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The work reported herein was published in Physics of Fluids 34, 053312. The interaction of a laser-induced shock wave with nanoparticles and microparticles of aluminum oxide is investigated through experiments and modeling. The chemistry and physics of the interaction between the particles and plasma generated from laser ablation shows similarities and discrete differences for the two particle sizes. For both particle sizes, early stage (< 10 µs) ionization was dominant and evidenced by higher concentrations of Al II. While both sizes exhibit ionization over the same duration, the intensity of emission was greater for nanoparticles indicating greater concentrations of ionized species. Moreover, the dispersion of species was notably more elongated for microparticles while radial dispersion was more pronounced for nanoparticles with elevated drag forces. At later stages (i.e., > 10 µs), oxidation reactions were dominant for both particle sizes, but the same distinctions in flow field were observed and attributed to particle drag. In all stages of interaction, microparticles expand axially with less drag that suppresses their radial expansion. As a result, the dispersion of reactive species was mapped over an up to 80% larger area for nanoparticles relative to microparticles. Results shown here can be applied toward advancing experimental diagnostics and particle shock wave modeling and simulation efforts for energetic materials.

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