Production of nanostructures on bulk metal samples by laser ablation for fabrication of low-reflective surfaces
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Nanostructure formation on bulk noble metals (copper, gold and silver) by a femtosecond laser was studied aiming at the production of low-reflectivity surfaces. The target surface was irradiated with the beam of a 775 nm wavelength and 150 fs pulse duration Ti:sapphire laser. The fluence was in the 16–2000 mJ/cm2 range, while the average pulse number was varied between 10 and 1000 depending on the scanning speed of the sample stage. The reflectivity of the treated surfaces was measured with a visible–near-infrared microspectrometer in the 450–800 nm range, while the morphology was studied with a scanning electron microscope. A strong correlation was found between the decreasing reflectivity and the nanostructure formation on the irradiated surface; however, the morphology of silver significantly differed from those of copper and gold. For the two latter metals a dense coral-like structure was found probably as a result of cluster condensation in the ablation plume followed by diffusion-limited aggregation. In the case of silver the surface was covered by nanodroplets, which formation was probably influenced by the ‘spitting’ caused by ambient oxygen absorption in the molten silver followed by its fast release during the resolidification.
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