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Opt Express. 2010 Feb 1;18(3):2913-24. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.002913.

Controlled nanostructrures formation by ultra fast laser pulses for color marking.

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Université de Lyon, F-69003, Lyon, France, Université de Saint-Etienne, Laboratoire Hubert Curien, UMR 5516CNRS, 42000 Saint Etienne, France.


Precise nanostructuration of surface and the subsequent upgrades in material properties is a strong outcome of ultra fast laser irradiations. Material characteristics can be designed on mesoscopic scales, carrying new optical properties. We demonstrate in this work, the possibility of achieving material modifications using ultra short pulses, via polarization dependent structures generation, that can generate specific color patterns. These oriented nanostructures created on the metal surface, called ripples, are typically smaller than the laser wavelength and in the range of visible spectrum. In this way, a complex colorization process of the material, involving imprinting, calibration and reading, has been performed to associate a priori defined colors. This new method based on the control of the laser-driven nanostructure orientation allows cumulating high quantity of information in a minimal surface, proposing new applications for laser marking and new types of identifying codes.

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