Plasma Propulsion of a Metallic Micro-droplet and its Deformation upon Laser Impact
The propulsion of a liquid indium-tin micro-droplet by nanosecond-pulse laser impact is exper- imentally investigated. We capture the physics of the droplet propulsion in a scaling law that accurately describes the plasma-imparted momentum transfer, enabling the optimization of the laser-droplet coupling. The subsequent deformation of the droplet is described by an analytical model that accounts for the droplet’s propulsion velocity and the liquid properties. Comparing our ndings to those from vaporization-accelerated mm-sized water droplets, we demonstrate that the hydrodynamic response of laser-impacted droplets is scalable and independent of the propulsion mechanism.