Fabrication of optical gratings through surface patterning of zirconium-based metallic glass by laser irradiation

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Periodic lines with intervals ranging from ∼220 μm down to ∼27 μm were fabricated on the surface of Zr55Cu30Al10Ni5 metallic glass ribbon and disk samples by laser irradiation. The X-ray diffraction results indicated that both oxides (monoclinic ZrO2, tetragonal ZrO2) and crystallites (Cu10Zr7, NiZr2) existed together with the amorphous phase on the surface of the laser-patterned metallic glass samples. The energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of a cross section of a disk sample clearly showed that high amounts of aluminum (292% of the nominal composition) and oxygen were present in the laser-irradiated area, suggesting that Al2O3 formed on the surface of the laser-irradiated region. Reflective diffraction spots were observed from the fine grids with a grating period of ∼27 μm, indicating the excellent periodicity and accuracy of the pattern in two dimensions on the surface of the metallic glass substrates. Calculation of the grating period using Bragg's law confirmed that the spots originated from the periodic patterns of the laser-irradiated lines. Along the lines, pairs of ridges and hollows with a height/depth of ∼0.5 μm were observed; such specific morphology generated the diffraction spots as a reflective grating. We observed structural color gradation from the periodic fine grids under a fluorescent light. The present study showed that it is possible to prepare optical gratings on the surface of metallic glasses by laser irradiation more cheaply and easily than by conventional imprinting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb


  • Laser irradiation
  • Metallic glass
  • Optical gratings
  • Structural color
  • Surface patterning


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