Formation of periodic surface structures by ultrashort laser pulses
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The formation of periodic surface structures by ultrashort laser pulses was observed experimentally and explained theoretically. The experiments were performed on graphite with picosecond laser pulses. The spatial period of the structures is of the order of the wavelength of the incident radiation, and the orientation of the structures is correlated with the direction of polarization of the light. The key point of the theoretical model proposed is resonance excitation of surface electromagnetic waves, which under conditions such that the temperature of the electronic subsystem is decoupled from the temperature of the crystal lattice causes a “temperature grating” to be written on the flat solid surface of the sample while the laser pulse is being applied on account of the temperature dependence of the surface impedance. The formation of a periodic surface profile from the temperature grating occurs by the volume expansion of a melted layer near the surface of the material. For typical values of the surface tension and viscosity for metals, there is not enough time for the periodic profile to be resorbed before the liquid layer solidifies. The formation of periodic surface structures is delayed in time relative to the laser pulse.
KeywordsSurface Tension Laser Pulse Incident Radiation Liquid Layer Surface Profile
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