Skip to main content Accessibility help

A novel shock tube with a laser–plasma driver

  • Y. Kai (a1) (a2), W. Garen (a1), T. Schlegel (a1) and U. Teubner (a1) (a2)


A novel method to generate shock waves in small tubes is demonstrated. A femtosecond laser is applied to generate an optical breakdown an aluminum film as target. Due to the sudden appearance of this non-equilibrium state of the target, a shock wave is induced. The shock wave is further driven by the expanding high-pressure plasma (up to 10 Mbar), which serves as a quasi-piston, until the plasma recombines. The shock wave then propagates further into a glass capillary (different square capillaries with hydraulic diameter D down to 50 µm are applied). Shock wave propagation is investigated by laser interferometry. Although the plasma is an unsteady driver, due to the geometrical confinement of the capillaries, rather strong micro shocks can still propagate as far as 35 times D. In addition to the experiments, the initial conditions of this novel method are investigated by hydrocode simulations using MULTI-fs.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Y. Kai, Institute of Physics, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg 26111, Germany. E-mail:


Hide All
Anderson, J.D. (2003). Modern Compressible Flow: With Historical Perspective, Vol. 12. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Austin, J. & Bodony, D. (2011). Wave propagation in gaseous small-scale channel flows. Shock Waves 21, 547.
Brouillette, M. (2003). Shock waves at microscales. Shock Waves 13, 312.
Caruso, A. & Gratton, R. (1969). Interaction of short laser pulses with solid materials. Plasma Phys. 11, 839.
Deshpande, A. & Puranik, B. (2017). A numerical investigation of shock propagation in three-dimensional microducts. Shock Waves 27, 565582.
Faik, S., Basko, M.M., Tauschwitz, A., Iosilevskiy, I. & Maruhn, J.A. (2012). Dynamics of volumetrically heated matter passing through the liquid–vapor metastable states. High Energy Density Phys. 8, 349359.
Garen, W., Meyerer, B., Udagawa, S. & Maeno, K. (2009). Shock waves in mini-tubes: influence of the scaling parameter S . Shock Waves, pp. 14731478.
Kai, Y., Garen, W. & Teubner, U. (2017). Generation and propagation of shock waves in submillimeter capillaries. In 30th International Symposium on Shock Waves 2, pp. 1201–1204. Springer.
Kemp, A. & Meyer-ter Vehn, J. (1998). An equation of state code for hot dense matter, based on the qeos description. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A. 415, 674676.
Lyon, S. & Johnson, J. (1992). Los Alamos National Laboratory Report No. LA-UR-3407, Technical Report, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Mirshekari, G. & Brouillette, M. (2009). One-dimensional model for microscale shock tube flow. Shock Waves 19, 2538.
Mirshekari, G. & Brouillette, M. (2012). Microscale shock tube. J. Microelectromech. Syst. 21, 739748.
Mirshekari, G., Brouillette, M., Giordano, J., Hébert, C., Parisse, J.-D. & Perrier, P. (2013). Shock waves in microchannels. J. Fluid Mech. 724, 259283.
Ngomo, D., Chaudhuri, A., Chinnayya, A. & Hadjadj, A. (2010). Numerical study of shock propagation and attenuation in narrow tubes including friction and heat losses. Comput. Fluids 39, 17111721.
online data bank (2016). Air Properties. (
Palik, E.D. (1998). Handbook of Optical Constants of Solids, Vol. 3. Orlando: Academic Press, Inc.
Ramis, R., Eidmann, K., Meyer-ter Vehn, J. & Hüller, S. (2012). Multi-fs–a computer code for laser–plasma interaction in the femtosecond regime. Comput. Phys. Commun. 183, 637655.
Reddy, K. & Sharath, N. (2013). Manually operated piston-driven shock tube. Curr. Sci. 104, 172176.
Sun, M., Ogawa, T. & Takayama, K. (2001). Shock propagation in narrow channels. ISSW23, Fort Worth, TX.
T4GROUP. (1983). SESAME Report on the Los Alamos Equation-of-State Library, Technical Report, No. LALP-83-4. Los Alamos, NM: Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Teubner, U., Kai, Y., Schlegel, T., Zeitoun, D. & Garen, W. (2017). Laser-plasma induced shock waves in micro shock tubes. New J. Phys., accepted.
Teubner, U., Wülker, C., Theobald, W. & Förster, E. (1995). X-ray spectra from high-intensity subpicosecond laser produced plasmas. Phys. Plasmas 2, 972981.
Udagawa, S., Garen, W., Meyerer, B. & Maeno, K. (2007). Interferometric detection of dispersed shock waves in small scale diaphragm-less shock tube of 1mm diameter. In 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC), pp. 207–210. School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.
Vézina, G., Fortier-Topping, H., Bolduc-Teasdale, F., Rancourt, D., Picard, M., Plante, J.-S., Brouillette, M. & Fréchette, L. (2016). Design and experimental validation of a supersonic concentric micro gas turbine. J. Turbomach. 138, 021007.
Young, D.A. & Corey, E.M. (1995). A new global equation of state model for hot, dense matter. J. Appl. Phys. 78, 37483755.
Zeitoun, D. & Burtschell, Y. (2006). Navier–stokes computations in micro shock tubes. Shock Waves 15, 241246.


A novel shock tube with a laser–plasma driver

  • Y. Kai (a1) (a2), W. Garen (a1), T. Schlegel (a1) and U. Teubner (a1) (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed