This work studies heat transfer mechanisms during ultrafast laser heating of metals from a microscopic point of view. The heating process is composed of three processes: the deposition of radiation energy on electrons, the transport of energy by electrons, and the heating of the material lattice through electron-lattice interactions. The Boltzmann transport equation is used to model the transport of electrons and electron-lattice interactions. The scattering term of the Boltzmann equation is evaluated from quantum mechanical considerations, which shows the different contributions of the elastic and inelastic electron-lattice scattering processes on energy transport. By solving the Boltzmann equation, a hyperbolic two-step radiation heating model is rigorously established. It reveals the hyperbolic nature of energy flux carried by electrons and the nonequilibrium between electrons and the lattice during fast heating processes. Predictions from the current model agree with available experimental data during subpicosecond laser heating.

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