Thermoelastic generation of ultrasound by line-focused laser irradiation

Irene Arias, Jan D. Achenbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


A two-dimensional theoretical model for the field generated in the thermoelastic regime by line-focused laser illumination of a homogeneous, isotropic, linearly elastic half-space is presented. The model accounts for the effects of thermal diffusion and optical penetration, as well as the finite width and duration of the laser source. The model is obtained by solving the thermoelastic problem in plane strain, rather than by integrating available solutions for the point-source, leading to a lower computational effort. The well-known dipole model follows from appropriate limits. However, it is shown that, by simple elasticity arguments, the strength of the dipole can be related a-priori to the heat input and certain material properties. The strength is found to be smaller than that of the dipoles equivalent to a buried source due to the effect of the free surface. This fact has been overlooked by some previous researchers. Excellent quantitative agreement with experimental observations provides validation for the model. Some representative results are presented to illustrate the generated field and provide insight into the relevance of the different mechanisms taken into account in the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6917-6935
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Laser-generation
  • Line-source
  • Modelling
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Thermoelastic regime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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