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Article in Acta Materialia (2024)

A paper co-authored by Dr. Radosław Kamiński was published in the Acta Materialia journal (Elsevier, IF2022 = 9.4) entitled “Structural pathways for ultrafast melting of optically excited thin polycrystalline palladium films”. The work presented was done using the European Free-Electron Laser (EuXFEL) facility.

Melting is one of the most commonly observed but still not fully understood phase transitions. The problem of how crystalline solids melt and what determines the temperature at which the transition happens is not only fascinating, but also tremendously difficult to fully understand. The specific mechanisms explaining melting are still evolving, even though the very first criteria were proposed quite a long time ago, for example by F.A. Lindemann (1910) or M. Born (1939).

The current work is focused on the palladium metal. The ultrafast melting of the thin polycrystalline Pd films was investigated with an optical-laser-pump / X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) probe technique and large-scale two-temperature model molecular-dynamics simulations. Bridging the timescales of the experiment and the simulation allowed to formulate a realistic microscopic picture of the solid-to-liquid transition in an optically excited polycrystalline film and identify the melting mechanisms of metals with strong electron-phonon coupling.

The research and publication of the article were possible thanks to the support from the project “Support for Polish users of EuXFEL – Supervision II (2022-26)” (project No. 2022/WK/13) financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the “Support for the participation of Polish teams research in international research infrastructure projects” programme. As part of this project, three XFEL Centers of Excellence were established. One of them is located at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw and Prof. Katarzyna Jarzembska is its leader and coordinator. Project website: https://www.ifpan.edu.pl/cd-xfel/

Bibliographic data and link to the article:

Antonowicz, A. Olczak, K. Sokolowski-Tinten, P. Zalden, I. Milov, P. Dzięgielewski, C. Bressler, H. N. Chapman, M. Chojnacki, P. Dłużewski, A. Rodriguez-Fernandez, K. Fronc, W. Gawełda, K. Georgarakis, A. L. Greer, I. Jacyna, R. W. E. van de Kruijs, R. Kamiński, D. Khakhulin, D. Klinger, K. M. Kosyl, K. Kubicek, K. P. Migdal, R. Minikayev, N. T. Panagiotopoulos, M. Sikora, P. Sun, H. Yousef, W. Zajkowska-Pietrzak, V. V. Zhakhovsky, R. Sobierajski, Acta Materialia 2024, 120043 (in press, journal pre-proof)