, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 635-642
Date: 20 May 2008

Sub-wavelength surface structuring of NiTi alloy by femtosecond laser pulses

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Generation of self-organized sub-wavelength surface structures on a nickel–titanium alloy plate by femtosecond laser pulses is investigated experimentally through line-scribing experiments in air. It is found that Bragg-like relief gratings, with the orientation perpendicular to the laser polarization, are formed over the entire laser-scribed regions. The average period is measured as 630±30 nm. Distinctive features of these novel surface structures include nanoparticle-covered grating ridges and the maintainable spatial period regardless of incidence angles. With different laser parameters and sample scan speeds, sub-wavelength grating structures can evolve into cellular-like nanotextures. Optimal conditions for forming these surface structures are determined in terms of laser energy and scan speed. Elementary analyses of the structured surfaces by X-ray diffraction and photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that both the crystal structures and the chemical elements can remain in their original states, but the surface grains are refined and the atomic percentages are varied after femtosecond laser treatments.