, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 283-291
Date: 13 Jul 2007

Plasmonic laser nanoablation of silicon by the scattering of femtosecond pulses near gold nanospheres

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Abstract

We present the fabrication of nanostructures ablated on silicon(100) by the plasmonic scattering of 780 nm, 220 fs laser pulses in the near-field of gold nanospheres. We take advantage of the enhanced plasmonic scattering of ultrashort laser light in the particle near-field to ablate well-defined nanocraters. Gold nanospheres of 150 nm diameter are deposited onto a silicon surface and irradiated with a single laser pulse. We studied the effect of laser polarization on the morphology of ablated nanostructures and estimated the minimum fluence for plasmonic nanoablation. When the polarization of the incident radiation is directed at a 45° angle into the substrate surface, a near-field enhancement of 23.1±7.6 is measured, reducing the required silicon ablation fluence from 191±14 mJ/cm2 to 8.2±2.9 mJ/cm2. Enhancements are also measured for laser polarizations parallel to the substrate surface when the substrate is angled 0° and 45° to the incident irradiation, giving enhancements of 6.9±0.6 and 4.1±1.3, respectively. Generated nanocrater morphologies show a direct imprint of the particle dipolar scattering region, as predicted in our theoretical calculations. The measured near-field enhancement values agree well with the maximum field enhancements obtained in our calculations. The agreement between theory and measurements supports that the nanocraters are indeed formed by the enhanced plasmonic scattering in the near-field of the nanoparticles.

PACS

42.62.-b; 52.38.Mf; 81.65.Cf; 81.16.-c; 78.67.Bf