Open Access Nano Express

Characterization of MHz pulse repetition rate femtosecond laser-irradiated gold-coated silicon surfaces

Manickam Sivakumar13*, Krishnan Venkatakrishnan2 and Bo Tan1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada

2 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada

3 On leave from Department of Sciences, Amrita School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ettimadai, Coimbatore 641105, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:78  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-78

Published: 12 January 2011

Abstract

In this study, MHz pulse repetition rate femtosecond laser-irradiated gold-coated silicon surfaces under ambient condition were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The radiation fluence used was 0.5 J/cm2 at a pulse repetition rate of 25 MHz with 1 ms interaction time. SEM analysis of the irradiated surfaces showed self-assembled intermingled weblike nanofibrous structure in and around the laser-irradiated spots. Further TEM investigation on this nanostructure revealed that the nanofibrous structure is formed due to aggregation of Au-Si/Si nanoparticles. The XRD peaks at 32.2°, 39.7°, and 62.5° were identified as (200), (211), and (321) reflections, respectively, corresponding to gold silicide. In addition, the observed chemical shift of Au 4f and Si 2p lines in XPS spectrum of the irradiated surface illustrated the presence of gold silicide at the irradiated surface. The generation of Si/Au-Si alloy fibrous nanoparticles aggregate is explained by the nucleation and subsequent condensation of vapor in the plasma plume during irradiation and expulsion of molten material due to high plasma pressure.