Laser interference patterning-induced microstructural modifications have been investigated in two noble metal-incorporated oxide thin film systems: Pd0.25Pt0.75Ox and gold-incorporated yttria-stabilized zirconia - Au-YSZ. Transmission electron microscopy was used to investigate the influence of the laser treatment on the microstructure of the samples. In the case of Pd0.25Pt0.75Ox, the formation of a nanocomposite arrangement resulted from the precipitation of metal nanograins in the oxide matrix triggered by laser irradiation. In Au-YSZ, the starting microstructure consisted of gold nanograins embedded in a YSZ matrix. A noticeable growth and coalescence of gold nanograins occurred near the surface in the region of maximum interference. Simultaneously, a foamy morphology, mostly consisting of gold crystals, was formed at the film surface. In contrast to thermal annealing, the laser treatment proposed here is a fast procedure to partially relocate gold at the film surface and provide a local solid lubrication.
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