Theory of the shock wave initiation and propagation under the action of the powerful plasma-producing laser beam on a solid target is developed. The limiting depth of the material destruction which is the distance where the pressure at the front of shock wave initiated by the laser pulse decays to the value corresponding to the yield point of the material is analytically determined. It is shown that for laser pulse more intensive than 1010 - 1011 W/cm2 the depth of the material destruction due to a shock wave which decays in the material after the end of laser pulse significantly exceeds the depth of the material destruction during the period of laser pulse. The found dependence of the limiting destruction depth on the laser pulse parameters and strength characteristics of the material allows to calculate the crater depth in a thick target undergoing the laser pulse action or the maximum thickness of a target which can be perforated by the laser beam.
Kirill Sergeevich Guskov,
"Limiting the depth of material destruction by high-power laser ablation", Proc. SPIE 4065, High-Power Laser Ablation III, (16 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.407337; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.407337