Applied Surface Science, Vol.255, No.5, 3028-3032, 2008
Polarization-dependent single-beam laser-induced grating-like effects on titanium films
In this paper we present results on polarization-dependent laser-induced effects on titanium (Ti) thin films. We irradiated the titanium films, in ambient air, using a nanosecond Nd:YAG laser (532 nm, 9 ns pulse duration, 10 Hz). Using a series of pulses of fluence well below the ablation threshold, it was possible to form grating-like structures, whose grooves run parallel to the linear polarization of the incident beam. No grating-like structures were obtained when circularly polarized light was used. Our results revealed the remarkable formation of tiny (100 nm and even smaller diameter) craters, which self-arrange quasi-periodically along the ridges (never on the valleys) of the grating-like structure. Optical and scanning electron microscopy were used to study the laser-induced changes on the surface of the titanium films. Micro-Raman spectroscopy was used to analyze the irradiated areas on the titanium films. The Raman analysis demonstrated that the grooves in the grating-like structure, build up from the laser-induced oxidation of titanium. This is the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that periodic surface structures are reported to be induced below the ablation threshold regime, with the grooves made of crystalline metal oxide, in this case TiO2 in the well-known Rutile phase. The laser irradiated areas on the film acquired selective (upon recording polarization) holographic reflectance. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.