In an effort to better understand and thereby utilize laser processing, an existing code describing laser-metal (aluminum) interaction is modified to describe laser-ceramic (diamond) interaction. Comparisons between our modified code (diamond target) and the original code (aluminum target) highlight similarities and differences between laser-ceramic and laser-metal processing. Gas breakdown effects, which are expected for the simulated short (time duration), high energy laser pulses, are observed in both codes. Due to the lower sublimation heat of aluminum (1.1×104J/g) compared to diamond (5.3×104J/g), aluminum vaporizes more quickly and exhibits a faster expansion speed (1.4×107 cm/sec compared to 8×106 cm/sec for diamond) in the early stage of the laser pulse. Because aluminum requires significantly more energy to fully ionize than does carbon, our simulations show that the diamond plasma is fully ionized (6 of 6 electrons per atom) and the aluminum plasma is partially ionized (11 of 13 electrons per atom).

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