Modification of titanium microstructure after propagation of a melting shock wave (SW) generated by a femtosecond laser pulse is investigated experimentally and analyzed using hydrodynamic and atomistic simulations. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy with analysis of microdiffraction is used to determine the microstructure of modified subsurface layers of titanium. We found that two layers are modified beneath the surface. A top surface polycrystalline layer of nanoscale grains is formed from shock-molten material via rapid crystallization. In a deeper subsurface layer, where the shock-induced melting changes into plastic deformation due to attenuation of SW, the grain structure of solid is considerably affected, which results in a grain size distribution differing from that in the intact titanium. Molecular dynamics simulation of single-crystal titanium reveals that the SW front continues to melt even after its temperature drops below the melting curve . The enormous shear stress of generated in a narrow SW front leads to free slip of atomic planes, collapse of the crystal lattice, and formation of a supercooled metastable melt. Such melt crystallizes in an unloading tail of SW. The mechanical melting ceases after drop in the shear stress giving rise to the shock-induced plastic deformation. The last process triggers a long-term rearrangement of atomic structures in solid. The overall depth of modified layers is limited by SW attenuation to the Hugoniot elastic limit and can reach several micrometers. The obtained results reveal the basic physical mechanisms of surface hardening of metals by ultrashort laser pulses.
Shock-induced melting and crystallization in titanium irradiated by ultrashort laser pulse
Vasily Zhakhovsky, Yury Kolobov, Sergey Ashitkov, Nail Inogamov, Ivan Nelasov, Sergey Manokhin, Victor Khokhlov, Denis Ilnitsky, Yury Petrov, Andrey Ovchinnikov, Oleg Chefonov, Dmitry Sitnikov; Shock-induced melting and crystallization in titanium irradiated by ultrashort laser pulse. Physics of Fluids 1 September 2023; 35 (9): 096104. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0165622
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