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Mesoscopic modelling of the interaction of infrared lasers with composite materials: an application to dental enamel

Vila Verde, AC; Ramos, MMD; Stoneham, AM; Ribeiro, RM; (2004) Mesoscopic modelling of the interaction of infrared lasers with composite materials: an application to dental enamel. Applied Surface Science , 238 (1-4) 410 - 414. 10.1016/j.apsusc.2004.05.158. Green and gold open access

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Abstract

The mesostructure and composition of composite materials determine their mechanical, optical and thermal properties and, consequently, their response to incident radiation. We have developed general finite element models of porous composite materials under infrared radiation to examine the influence of pore size on one of the determining parameters of the stress distribution in the material: the temperature distribution. We apply them to the specific case of human dental enamel, a material which has nanometer scale pores containing water/organic, and predict the maximum temperature reached after a single 0.35 μs laser pulse of sub-ablative fluence by two lasers: Er:YAG (2.9 μm) and CO2 (10.6 μm). For the Er:YAG laser, the results imply a strong dependence of the maximum temperature reached at the pore on the area-to-volume ratio of the pore, whereas there is little such dependence for CO2 lasers. Thus, CO2 lasers may produce more reproducible results than Er:YAG lasers when it comes to enamel ablation, which may be of significant interest during clinical practice. More generally, when ablating composite materials by infrared lasers researchers should account for the material’s microstructure and composition when designing experiments or interpreting results, since a more simplistic continuum approach may not be sufficient to explain differences observed during ablation of materials with similar optical properties or of the same material but using different wavelengths.

Type:Article
Title:Mesoscopic modelling of the interaction of infrared lasers with composite materials: an application to dental enamel
Open access status:An open access publication. A version is also available from UCL Discovery.
DOI:10.1016/j.apsusc.2004.05.158
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2004.05.158
Language:English
Additional information:Text made available to UCL Discovery by kind permission of Elsevier B.V., 2012. This paper is published as part of a special issue of Applied Surface Science containing papers presented at the First International Meeting on Applied Physics (APHYS-2003), held in Badajoz (Spain), from 15th to 18th October 2003. Edited by A. Mendez-Vilas and M.L. Gonzalez-Martin
Keywords:Dental enamel, Laser ablation, Finite element modelling, Mesoscopic modelling, Er:YAG laser, CO2 laser
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology

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