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Three-dimensional (3D), periodic nanowriting on diamond clusters is reported in this letter. Concentric circular rings were observed on diamond microclusters, nucleated near the periphery of a laser-irradiated region, when chemical-vapor deposited diamond was processed in air, with laser pulses of 380 fs duration and at a wavelength of 248 nm. Periodic ripples also have been observed on single-crystal and polycrystalline diamond surfaces. Further, it is experimentally shown that the periodicity of these corrugated two-dimensional and 3D structures is shorter than that of the laser wavelength used (248 nm for the excimer fs laser and 825 nm for the Ti–sapphire fs laser). © 1999 American Institute of Physics.