Future generations will look back at the ongoing Silicon era and identify a unique chapter related to the fascinating behavior of materials and processes in the nanoscale. Nanotechnology is helping improve materials for healthcare, energy, computing and storage. These innovations need techniques to access, observe, and manipulate the nano scale. Pulsed laser processing (PLM) has been an important tool for exploring non-equilibrium routes to synthesize nanomaterials.
This talk will review some unique thermal effects observed under PLM as applied to thin films and discuss its role in nanomaterials synthesis. This includes spinodal dewetting, the nanoscale Rayleigh-Taylor instability and phase-array self-organization. This has resulted in synthesis of oxidation-resistant silver, fabrication of ultrasensitive SnO2 hydrogen sensors, and the discovery of the ferroplasmon. The examples in this talk are a result of numerous collaborative efforts, which are often needed to explore the complex behavior of materials and processes in the nanoscale.