In this work, the nanostructuring induced in femtosecond (fs) laser irradiation of biopolymers is examined in self-standing films of collagen and gelatine. Irradiation by single 90 fs pulses at 800, 400 and 266 nm is shown to result in the formation of a modified layer with submicrometric size structures. The size and uniformity of the observed features are strongly dependent on irradiation wavelength and on the characteristics of the biopolymer (water content and mechanical strength).
Examination of the films by laser induced fluorescence serves to assess the chemical modifications induced by laser irradiation, revealing changes in the emission bands assigned to the aromatic amino acid tyrosine and its degradation products. The results are discussed in the framework of a mechanism involving the generation of large free-electron densities, through multiphoton and avalanche ionization, which determine the temperature and stress distribution in the irradiated volume.
Gaspard, S., Oujja, M., De Nalda, R., Abrusci, C., Catalina, F., Banares, L., Lazare, S. and Castillejo, M., 2007. Nanofoaming in the surface of biopolymers by femtosecond pulsed laser irradiation. Applied Surface Science, 254(4), pp.1179-1184.
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