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Directivity patterns of laser-generated sound in solids: effects of optical and thermal parameters

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journal contribution
posted on 19.08.2015 by Victor V. Krylov
In the present paper, directivity patterns of laser-generated sound in solids are investigated theoretically. Two main approaches to the calculation of directivity patterns of laser-generated sound are discussed for the most important case of thermo-optical regime of generation. The first approach, which is widely used in practice, is based on the simple modelling of the equivalent thermo-optical source as a mechanical dipole comprising two horizontal forces applied to the surface in opposite directions. The second approach is based on the rigorous theory that takes into account all acoustical, optical and thermal parameters of a solid material and all geometrical and physical parameters of a laser beam. Directivity patterns of laser-generated bulk longitudinal and shear elastic waves, as well as the amplitudes of generated Rayleigh surface waves, are calculated for different values of physical and geometrical parameters and compared with the directivity patterns calculated in case of dipole-source representation. It is demonstrated that the simple approach using a dipole-source representation of laser-generated sound is rather limited, especially for description of generated longitudinal acoustic waves. A practical criterion is established to define the conditions under which the dipole-source representation gives predictions with acceptable errors. It is shown that, for radiation in the normal direction to the surface, the amplitudes of longitudinal waves are especially sensitive to the values of thermal parameters and of the acoustic reflection coefficient from a free solid surface. A discussion is given on the possibility of using such a high sensitivity to the values of the reflection coefficient for investigation of surface properties of real solids.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


KRYLOV, V.V., 2014. Directivity patterns of laser-generated sound in solids: effects of optical and thermal parameters. arXiv:1402.6024 [physics.optics], 14pp.



Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This pre-print was submitted to arXiv on 25th February 2014.




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