11 February 2011 Scattering-controlled femtosecond-laser induced nanostructuring of TiO2 thin films
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The formation of laser induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) is to a large extent of self-organizing nature and in its early stages essentially influenced by optical scattering. The evolution of related mechanisms, however, has still to be studied in detail and strongly depends on materials and laser parameters. Excitation with highly intense ultrashort pulses leads to the creation of nanoripple structures with periods far below the fundamental wavelength because of opening multiphoton excitation channels. Because of the drastically reduced spatial scale of such laser induced periodic nanostructures (LIPNS), a particular influence of scattering is expected in this special case. Here we report on first investigations of femtosecond-laser induced nanostructuring of sputtered titanium dioxide (TiO2) layers in comparison to bulk material. The crucial role of the optical film quality for the morphology of the resulting LIPNS was worked out. Typical periods of nanoripples were found to be within the range of 80-180 nm for an excitation wavelength of 800 nm. Unlike our previously reported results on bulk TiO2, LIPNS in thin films appeared preferentially at low pulse numbers (N=5-20). This observation was explained by a higher number of scattering centers caused by the thin film structure and interfaces. The basic assumptions are further supported by supplementary experiments with polished and unpolished surfaces of bulk TiO2 single crystals.
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S. K. Das, S. K. Das, A. Rosenfeld, A. Rosenfeld, M. Bock, M. Bock, A. Pfuch, A. Pfuch, W. Seeber, W. Seeber, R. Grunwald, R. Grunwald, } "Scattering-controlled femtosecond-laser induced nanostructuring of TiO2 thin films", Proc. SPIE 7925, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XI, 79251B (11 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.874519; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.874519

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