Dynamics of the laser-induced nanostructuring of thin metal layers: Experiment and theory

P. Lorenz, M. Klöppel, T. Smausz, T. Csizmadia, M. Ehrhardt, K. Zimmer, B. Hopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Nanostructures are of increasing importance in manifold application fields such as electronics, optics and beyond. However, the fast and cost-effective production of nanostructures is a big technological challenge for laser machining. One promising approach is laser irradiation of thin metal layers, which allows the fabrication of metal nanostructures induced by a melting and transformation process. The influence of laser parameters (laser fluence, laser pulse number) on the morphology of the nanopatterned film and the dynamics of the nanostructure formation during excimer laser irradiation of a 20 nmchromium film on fused silica were studied. The dynamics of nanopatterning, comprising hole and droplet formation, were investigated by time-dependent reflection and transmission measurements as well as time-dependent optical microscopy. The resulting patterns were investigated by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). However, for an optimization of this process a better underst and ing of the underlying physical phenomena is necessary. Therefore, experimental data of laser-induced nanopatterning were compared with results of physical simulations that consider the heat equation (laser-solid interaction including melting and evaporation) and the Navier-Stokes equation (transformation processes of the molten phase). The simulations, making use of laser fluence-dependent effective material parameters (surface tension and viscosity), are in good agreement with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026501
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Droplet formation
  • Excimer laser
  • Metal layer
  • Nanostructuring
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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