We present a framework based on the atomistic continuum model, combining the Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Two Temperature Model (TTM) approaches, to characterize the growth of metal nanoparticles (NPs) under ultrashort laser ablation from a solid target in water ambient. The model is capable of addressing the kinetics of fast non-equilibrium laser-induced phase transition processes at atomic resolution, while in continuum it accounts for the effect of free carriers, playing a determinant role during short laser pulse interaction processes with metals. The results of our simulations clarify possible mechanisms, which can be responsible for the observed experimental data, including the presence of two populations of NPs, having a small (5-15 nm) and larger (tens of nm) mean size. The formed NPs are of importance for a variety of applications in energy, catalysis and healthcare.
Keywords: dual nanoparticle distribution; femtosecond laser ablation; metal nanoparticles; pulsed laser ablation in liquids.