We report on the fabrication of laser-induced periodic surface structures in Cr films upon high repetition rate fs laser irradiation (up to 1 MHz, 500 fs, 1030 nm), employing beam scanning. Highly regular large-area () gratings with a relative diffraction efficiency of 42% can be produced within less than 6 min. The ripple period at moderate and high fluences is 0.9 μm, with a small period of 0.5 μm appearing at lower energies. The role of the irradiation parameters on the characteristics of the laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) is studied and discussed in the frame of the models presently used. We have identified the polarization vector orientation with respect to the scan direction as a key parameter for the fabrication of high-quality, large-area LIPSS, which, for perpendicular orientation, allows the coherent extension of the sub-wavelength structure over macroscopic distances. The processing strategy is robust in terms of broad parameter windows and applicable to other materials featuring LIPSS.
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