Femtosecond laser-induced formation of spikes on silicon


T. Her, R. J. Finlay, C. Wu, and E. Mazur. 2000. “Femtosecond laser-induced formation of spikes on silicon.” Appl. Phys. A, 70, Pp. 383–385.


We find that silicon surfaces develop arrays of sharp conical spikes when irradiated with 500 femtosecond laser pulses in SF6. The height of the spikes decreases with increasing pulse duration or decreasing laser fluence, and scales nonlinearly with the average separation between spikes. The spikes have the same crystallographic orientation as bulk silicon and always point along the incident direction of laser pulses. The base of the spikes has an asymmetric shape and its orientation is determined by the laser polarization. Our data suggest that both laser ablation and laser-induced chemical etching of silicon are involved in the formation of the spikes.