Light induced modulation instability of surfaces under intense illumination

V. M. Burlakov, Ian G. Foulds, A. Goriely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that a flat surface of a polymer in rubber state illuminated with intense electromagnetic radiation is unstable with respect to periodic modulation. Initial periodic perturbation is amplified due to periodic thermal expansion of the material heated by radiation. Periodic heating is due to focusing-defocusing effects caused by the initial surface modulation. The surface modulation has a period longer than the excitation wavelength and does not require coherent light source. Therefore, it is not related to the well-known laser induced periodic structures on polymer surfaces but may contribute to their formation and to other phenomena of light-matter interaction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251604
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 19 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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