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Self-organized, gratinglike nanostructures in polymer films with embedded metal nanoparticles induced by femtosecond laser irradiation

: Loeschner, K.; Seifert, G.; Heilmann, A.


Journal of applied physics 108 (2010), Nr.7, Art. 073114, 10 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IWM ()

The self-organized formation of periodic superstructures in thin plasma polymer films containing noble metal nanoparticles upon femtosecond laser irradiation has been studied in detail. By applying several hundred laser pulses on average per spot, the nanostructure of the metal layer is persistently changed into an approximate line grating with periodical changes in particle size and shape as observed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The formation of the structures is only possible within rather narrow ranges of laser intensity and metal content. The orientation of the lines is given by the laser polarization, while their spatial periodicity depends on laser wavelength and incidence angle. These observations give evidence that interference of incident light with light scattered into the film plane is the main mechanism controlling the nanostructure formation. We also discuss the optical spectra of the irradiated regions, in particular the observed dichroism and its relation to the prepared periodic structures.