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QuickSilica - Research project

Ultrafast electron-molecular dynamics coupling in photoexcited silica glass

PhD student: ARam MELKONYAN (ED 488 SIS)

ABSTRACT

The proposal consists in coupling molecular dynamics with advanced electromagnetic propagation and nonequilibrium collisional electrodynamics to describe the behavior of a silica glass excited by an ultrafast laser pulse. It aims to understand how laser excitations affect the complex topology of the amorphous network and lead to highly-localized changes of the physical properties. The laser irradiation conditions required for phase transitions that can happen to glass in extreme environment will be reproduced. Supercooled states, high quenching rates, low-viscosity phases, amorphous-crystalline transitions, densification or cavitation will be explored in the quest to push the limits of the resolution and efficiency of ultrafast laser nanostructuring on the surface and in the volume of silica glass. The optimization of irradiation conditions will make it possible to define original processes applied to the fabrication of functional metamaterials and metasurfaces.