A generic model to describe a variety of nanoparticle shapes and sizes is desirable to describe complex phenomenon. These particles are dispersed into various solids, liquids, or gases depending on the application. To simulate nanoparticles and their interaction with their host material, the Finite Element Method (FEM) is used. Heat transfer following an absorption event is also described by a parabolic partial differential equation, and transient solutions are generated in response to continuous, pulsed, or modulated laser radiation.
The simplest physical system described by FEM is that of a broadly-absorbing round-shaped nanoparticle dispersed in viscous host fluid or solid. Many experimental and theoretical studies conveniently describe a very similar system: a carbon “black” nanoparticle suspended in water. This material is well-known to exhibit nonlinear behavior when a laser pulse carrying 0.7 J/cm2 is incident on the material. For this process the FEM simulations agree with experimental results to show that a pulse of this fluence is capable of heating the solvent elements adjacent to the nanoparticle to their boiling point. This creates nonlinear scattering which is empirically observed as a nonlinear decrease in the transmitted power at this input fluence.