The present invention generally provides semiconductor substrates having submicron-sized surface features generated by irradiating the surface with ultra short laser pulses. In one aspect, a method of processing a semiconductor substrate is disclosed that includes placing at least a portion of a surface of the substrate in contact with a fluid, and exposing that surface portion to one or more femtosecond pulses so as to modify the topography of that portion. The modification can include, e.g., generating a plurality of submicron-sized spikes in an upper layer of the surface.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 The invention was made with Government Support under contract DE-FC36-01GO11053 awarded by Department of Energy and under grant NSF-PHY-0117795 awarded by National Science Foundation and. The Government has certain rights in the invention.