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Applied Physics Letters


We fabricate submicrometer silicon spikes by irradiating a siliconsurface that is submerged in water with 400 nm, 100 fs laser pulses. These spikes are less than a micrometer tall and about 200 nm wide—one to two orders of magnitude smaller than the microspikes formed by laser irradiation of silicon in gases or vacuum. Scanning electron micrographs of the surface show that the formation of the spikes involves a combination of capillary waves on the molten siliconsurface and laser-induced etching of silicon. Chemical analysis and scanning electron microscopy of the spikes show that they are composed of silicon with a 20-nm-thick surface oxide layer.


This article is freely available courtesy of the American Institute of Physics.

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