Abstract

Here, we report on formation of nanoprotrusions on the surface of a bulk crystalline silicon wafer under femtosecond-laser ablation with a donut-shaped laser beam. By breaking circular symmetry of the irradiating donut-shaped fs-pulse beam, a switch in geometry of the formed surface nanoprotrusions from regular to chiral was demonstrated. The chirality of the obtained Si nanostructures was promoted with an asymmetry degree of the laser beam. An uneven helical flow of laser-melted Si caused by asymmetry of the initial intensity and temperature pattern on the laser-irradiated Si surface explains this phenomenon. Chirality of the formed protrusions was confirmed by visualizing cross-sectional cuts produced by focused ion beam milling as well as Raman activity of these structures probed by circularly polarized light with opposite handedness. Our results open a pathway towards easy-to-implement inexpensive fabrication of chiral all-dielectric nanostructures for advanced nanophotonic applications and sensing of chiral molecules.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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