We report the unique growth of nanofibers in silica and borosilicate glass using femtosecond laser radiation at 8 MHz repetition rate and a pulse width of 214 fs in air at atmospheric pressure. The nanofibers are grown perpendicular to the substrate surface from the molten material in laser-drilled microvias where they intertwine and bundle up above the surface. The fibers are few tens of nanometers in thickness and up to several millimeters in length. Further, it is found that at some places nanoparticles are attached to the fiber surface along its length. Nanofiber growth is explained by the process of nanojets formed in the molten liquid due to pressure gradient induced from the laser pulses and subsequently drawn into fibers by the intense plasma pressure. The attachment of nanoparticles is due to the condensation of vapor in the plasma.
M. Sivakumar, Venkatakrishnan, K., and Tan, B., “Synthesis of Glass Nanofibers Using Femtosecond Laser Radiation Under Ambient Condition”, Nanoscale Research Letters, vol. 4, pp. 1263-1266, 2009.