A “significant advance” in the creation of micro-sized structures on surfaces has been developed by University of Liverpool scientists working at Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre (LLEC).
For the first time, complex real-time surface patterning with dimensions approximately 1/200th of the width of human hair was demonstrated. The patterning was enabled by dynamical switching between four polarisation states created from a high power, picosecond laser.
Polarisations were switched at more than ten times per second, demonstrating a remarkable level of control.
The research was carried out by PhD student, Yang Jin and directed by Dr Walter Perrie and Dr Olivier Allegre, under the co-supervision of Dr Geoff Dearden and Dr Stuart Edwardson, in the School of Engineering’s Laser Group.
The team were also able to create a chess board type patterns by modulating two polarisations in real time, as well as creating the letters ‘LLEC’ on polished stainless steel utilising the four state real time surface micro-structuring technique developed.
Head of Laser Group, Dr Geoff Dearden said: “This is a significant advance in surface materials micro-structuring and the technique may have important future applications, including the improved performance of electrodes, complex security marking, the creation of photonic components and in the area of polarisation dependent spectroscopies. Efforts to increase the effective polarisation switching bandwidth are now in progress.
The research was published in Optics Express, Y.Jin et al, vol.21, No.21 (Oct 2013)