Femtosecond Laser Surface Modification

April 6, 2022

When a femtosecond laser pulse hits a surface, the power is incredible.  It is so intense that it instantly turns the surface into a plasma even before the laser pulse ends.  This means there is a chance that the laser light is converted to surface plasmons, and they will deposit their energy as a constructively interfered wave.  This leads to ripples on the surface with dimensions near the wavelength of the initial laser.   This texturing can be used for photonic properties, or to alter the wetting of the surface.  We learned that such ripples can prevent wetting of metal surfaces by lithium.