© 2017 Author(s). Intense, pulsed ion beams locally heat materials and deliver dense electronic excitations that can induce material modifications and phase transitions. Material properties can potentially be stabilized by rapid quenching. Pulsed ion beams with pulse lengths of order ns have recently become available for materials processing. Here, we optimize mask geometries for local modification of materials by intense ion pulses. The goal is to rapidly excite targets volumetrically to the point where a phase transition or local lattice reconstruction is induced followed by rapid cooling that stabilizes desired material's properties fast enough before the target is altered or damaged by, e.g., hydrodynamic expansion. By using a mask, the longitudinal dimension can be large compared to the transverse dimension, allowing the possibility of rapid transverse cooling. We performed HYDRA simulations that calculate peak temperatures for a series of excitation conditions and cooling rates of silicon targets with micro-structured masks and compare these to a simple analytical model. The model gives scaling laws that can guide the design of targets over a wide range of pulsed ion beam parameters.