Tunable surface texturing by polarization-controlled three-beam interference
For the fabrication of periodic microstructures, a high-precision and highly efficient polarization-controlled three-beam interference technology (PoTBI) has been developed. With the theory of superposition of multiple laser beams, simulations on the influence of polarization upon the intensity distribution in the overlapped area have been carried out. By controlling the polarization of the interfering beams, various intensity patterns can be obtained. An optical setup for PoTBI has been realized and used to generate microstructures in polyimide foil. Micro cavities, micro bumps, eye-like cavities and rectangular columns of hexagonal symmetry and one-dimensional lines are produced. Compared with other multi-beam interference technologies, different surface textures of hexagonal symmetry with the same periodicity can be obtained only by changing the polarization status of the interfering beams without changing the geometrical interference setup. Thus, PoTBI provides a simply tunable texturing technology with a wide range of applications in surface structuring.