Abstract

It is widely believed that laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) are independent of material crystal structures. This Letter reports an abnormal phenomenon of strong dependence of the anisotropic formation of periodic ripples on crystal orientation, when Si (100) is processed by a linearly polarized femtosecond laser (800 nm, 50 fs, 1 kHz). LIPSS formation sensitivity with a π/2 modulation is found along different crystal orientations with a quasi-cosinusoid function when the angle between the crystal orientation and polarization direction is changed from 0° to 180°. Our experiments indicate that it is much easier (or more difficult) to form ripple structures when the polarization direction is aligned with the lattice axis [011]/[011¯] (or [001]). The modulated nonlinear ionization rate along different crystal orientations, which arises from the direction dependence of the effective mass of the electron is proposed to interpret the unexpected anisotropic LIPSS formation phenomenon. Also, we demonstrate that the abnormal phenomenon can be applied to control the continuity of scanned ripple lines along different crystal orientations.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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