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Embedded metal cluster in strong laser fields

F. Fehrer, P.M. Dinh, P.-G. Reinhard, and E. Suraud

par Mai Seve-Dinh - 13 juillet 2007

We discuss microscopic mechanisms of the violent dynamics following strong laser excitation of a metal cluster embedded in a rare gas matrix, taking as test case Na$_8$@Ar$_434$. This covers at least two aspects : first, it represents the typical experimental situation of metal clusters handled in raregas matrices or a finite drop of surrounding raregas material, and second, it serves as a generic test case for highly excited chromophores in inert surroundings addressing questions of energy transport and perturbation of the medium. We simulate the process up to 10 ps using a mixed quantum mechanical (for the electrons) and classical (ions and atoms) approach and analyze the emerging dynamics with respect to all basic constituents : cluster electrons, cluster ions, and matrix atoms. We find several stages of relaxation taking place with time scales from a few fs to over a few ps and much slower processes remaining for long after the simulation. A particularly interesting aspect is that the surrounding raregas material stabilizes a highly charged metal cluster which would otherwise explode without delay.