To study the formation mechanism of laser-induced periodic surface structures, we carried out a pulse-by-pulse optical observation of laser-induced surface morphological changes on thin glass substrates. We adopted oil-immersion microscopy, which has a higher spatial resolution than dry microscopy, and the laser was irradiated from the air side. A thin transparent substrate of coverslip was used as the sample. When a scratched coverslip was irradiated with focused subnanosecond laser pulses of 1.064 μm wavelength, periodic structures occasionally appeared in the flat region near the focus, with a period of about 0.55 μm.
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