Demonstration of the snow-plow effect in laser-produced plasma expansion in background gas using SPARTA
Here we demonstrate the snow-plow effect, which is the splitting of a laser-produced plasma into fast- and slow-moving components as it expands in background gas. We modelled the expansion in two dimensions using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method implemented via the open-source software SPARTA. Density and kinetic energy maps confirmed the splitting of a copper plume as it expands in argon gas. The effect of gas pressure on the plume expansion and splitting was also discussed. Moreover, the energy exchange between the plume and background gas was further demonstrated based on energy distributions.