Atomistic Simulation Centre
Queen's University Belfast
Northern Ireland, UK
Recent advances in the field of laser-driven ion acceleration have made it possible to resolve the material modification upon irradiation with an unprecedented time resolution. Using picosecond proton pulses, the early stages of track formation and generation of reactive species can now be directly probed. As described in Dromey et al. , when amorphous SiO2 samples are irradiated with a burst of protons, transient opacity depending on the sample depth is observed
In collaboration with the experimentalists at Queen’s University Belfast, we are developing a multi-scale framework to describe the early stages (< 1 ps) of proton irradiation of dielectrics. This includes developing a finite-element hydrodynamic model of the non-equilibrium carrier dynamics in SiO2 in the femtoseconds following proton irradiation, alongside an extended two-temperature model to model the relaxation over picoseconds.
 B Dromey et al. Picosecond metrology of laser-driven proton bursts. Nature Comm., 7 10642 (2016).