Simulating Laser-Material Interactions

Manyalibo Matthews, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), CA, USA

California-based Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) oversees the National Ignition Facility (NIF), which houses the world's largest and most energetic laser. Repeated use of this laser can damage the optics, which guide and focus the laser within the system.

Manyalibo Matthews, deputy group leader in the Materials Science Division of LLNL, and his team study techniques to repair and maintain the laser's fused silica optics. Read about how they used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to simulate laser-material interactions. This enabled them to explore infrared (IR) pulsed laser microshaping/micromachining, slow annealing, and laser chemical vapor deposition (L-CVD). The team also optimized an additive process for 3D printing called selective laser melting (SLM).

Simulation results showing Marangoni flow of laser-heated glass.