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Action of ultrafast optical and X-ray lasers on metals is considered. It is known that under certain conditions surface structures appear as result of irradiation. Generation of nano-structures is usually associated with excitation of surface plasmons. But often structures do not have forms of ripples, and their spacial scales are order of magnitude less than optical wavelength. In the paper full description of surface nano-structures is given for the case of single shot laser action onto well polished boundaries. Plasmon effects are insignificant for this case and also for X-ray pulses. It is shown that structures are formed after laser illumination in a process of mechanical spallation of ultrathin surface layer of molten metal. Spallation is accompanied by a strong foaming of melt, breaking of foam, and freezing of foam remnants. Those remnants form chaotic nano-structures observed in experiments.

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Journal of Physics: Conference Series, v. 510, art. 012041