From Statistic to Deterministic Nanostructures in Fused Silica Induced by Nanosecond Laser Radiation
The production of structures by laser machining below the diffraction limit is still a challenge. However, self-organization processes can be useful. The laser-induced self-organized modification of the shape of photolithographic produced chromium structures on fused silica as well as the structuring of the fused silica surface by nanosecond UV laser radiation was studied, respectively. Low fluence single pulse laser irradiation (OS > 300 mJ/cm2) cause the formation from chromium squares to droplets due to the mass transport in the molten chromium film. This process is governed by the instability of the molten metal due to the surface tension driven liquid phase mass transport. For a chromium pattern size similar to the instability length two specific droplet distributions were found which are single droplets with a determined position near the centre of the original pattern or random distributed smaller droplets arranged circularly. Each of the metal patterns can be transferred into the fused silica by a multi-pulse irradiation. The experimental results can be simulated well for low fluences by sequential solving the heat and Navier-Stokes equation.