We have used femtosecond laser pulses to drill submicron holes in single crystal silicon films in silicon-on-insulator structures. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis of material adjacent to the ablated holes indicates the formation of a layer of amorphous Si. This demonstrates that even when material is ablated using femtosecond pulses near the single pulse ablation threshold, sufficient heating of the surrounding material occurs to create a molten zone which solidifies so rapidly that crystallization is bypassed.

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