Extensive research work has been carried out on the generation and application of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). LIPSS with a sub-wavelength period generated by femtosecond laser irradiation, generally indicated as ripples, have been extensively investigated. Instead, the other ordered surface structures characterized by a supra-wavelength period, indicated as grooves, have been much less studied. Grooves typically form at larger irradiance levels or for higher number of laser pulses. Here, we report a comprehensive overview of recent investigations on the supra-wavelength grooves formed on crystalline silicon irradiated by femtosecond laser pulses. The authors’ recent experimental work is mainly addressed giving an explicit picture of the grooves generation process, namely illustrating the influence of the various experimental parameters, including, e.g., polarization, wavelength, fluence and repetition rate of the laser beam as well as number of laser pulses hitting the surface of the material. The effect of irradiation of a static or moving target and of the environmental conditions (e.g., vacuum or air ambient) will also be discussed. Finally, possible mechanisms envisaged to explain grooves formation and still open issues are briefly discussed.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited