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Fullerite surface modifications induced by 1064 and 266 nm pulsed laser irradiation have been studied by scanning electron microscopy. The formation of micropatterns with a well‐defined periodicity is reported. The morphology of the periodic nanostructures can be controlled by varying the laser fluence, the angle of incidence, and the wavelength. The different patterns observed for infrared and ultraviolet irradiation suggest that electronic and thermal effects are responsible of the formation of the periodic structures. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.