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Picosecond Melting of Ice by an Infrared Laser Pulse: A Simulation Study


  • Stimulating discussions with Jörgen Larsson, Abraham Szöke, Klas Andersson, Magnus Bergh, Anne L'Huillier, Richard London, Gösta Huldt, and Janos Hajdu are gratefully acknowledged. Many thanks to Martin Chaplin for his supportive webpage: The Swedish Research Foundation is acknowledged for financial support.


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Cold as ice: Molecular dynamics simulation provides snapshots of a melting ice crystal (see picture). The laser pulse heats up the system, and the energy is absorbed in the OH bonds. After a few picoseconds, the energy is transferred to rotational and translational energy, causing the crystal to melt. The melting starts as a nucleation process, and even long after the first melting is initialized, pockets of crystalline structures can be found.