Ballistic heat transport in laser generated nano-bubbles†
Nanobubbles generated by laser heated plasmonic nanoparticles are of interest for biomedical and energy harvesting applications. Of utmost importance is the maximal size of these transient bubbles. Here, we report hydrodynamic phase field simulations of the dynamics of laser induced nanobubbles, with the aim to understand which physical processes govern their maximal size. We show that the nanobubble maximal size and lifetime are to a large extent controlled by the ballistic thermal flux which is present inside the bubble. Taking into account this thermal flux, we can reproduce the fluence dependence of the maximal nanobubble radius as reported experimentally. We also discuss the influence of the laser pulse duration on the number of nanobubbles generated and their maximal size. These studies represent a significant step toward the optimization of the nanobubble size, which is of crucial importance for photothermal cancer therapy applications.