Model-based simulations of pulsed laser ablation using an embedded finite element method.

TitleModel-based simulations of pulsed laser ablation using an embedded finite element method.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsY Liu, S Claus, P Kerfriden, J Chen, P Zhong, and JE Dolbow
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Start Page123843
Date Published05/2023

A model of thermal ablation with application to multi-pulsed laser lithotripsy is presented. The approach is based on a one-sided Stefan-Signorini model for thermal ablation, and relies on a level-set function to represent the moving interface between the solid phase and a fictitious gas phase (representing the ablated material). The model is discretized with an embedded finite element method, wherein the interface geometry can be arbitrarily located relative to the background mesh. Nitsche's method is adopted to impose the Signorini condition on the moving interface. A bound constraint is also imposed to deal with thermal shocks that can arise during representative simulations of pulsed ablation with high-power lasers. We report simulation results based on experiments for pulsed laser ablation of wet BegoStone samples treated in air, where Begostone has been used as a phantom material for kidney stone. The model is calibrated against experimental measurements by adjusting the percentage of incoming laser energy absorbed at the surface of the stone sample. Simulation results are then validated against experimental observations for the crater area, volume, and geometry as a function of laser pulse energy and duration. Our studies illustrate how the spreading of the laser beam from the laser fiber tip with concomitantly reduced incident laser irradiance on the damaged crater surface explains trends in both the experimental observations and the model-based simulation results.

Short TitleInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer