Formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures on niobium by femtosecond laser irradiation
The surface morphology of a Niobium sample, irradiated in air by a femtosecond laser with a wavelength of 800 nm and pulse duration of 100 fs, was examined. The period of the micro/nanostructures, parallel and perpendicularly oriented to the linearly polarized fs-laser beam, was studied by means of 2D Fast Fourier Transform analysis. The observed Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS) were classified as Low Spatial Frequency LIPSS (periods about 600 nm) and High Spatial Frequency LIPSS, showing a periodicity around 300 nm, both of them perpendicularly oriented to the polarization of the incident laser wave. Moreover, parallel high spatial frequency LIPSS were observed with periods around 100 nm located at the peripheral areas of the laser fingerprint and overwritten on the perpendicular periodic gratings. The results indicate that this method of micro/nanostructuring allows controlling the Niobium grating period by the number of pulses applied, so the scan speed and not the fluence is the key parameter of control. A discussion on the mechanism of the surface topology evolution was also introduced. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.