We demonstrate three - dimensional (3D) structuring of materials by femtosecond laser irradiation. The self-organized ordered formation of ripples by a laser raster-scanning on the surface of 4H-SiC is demonstrated. This method is scalable up to areas with sum-millimeter cross-sections. The role of ripple-like structures in the case of the surface and in-bulk micro-structuring of different materials is discussed. The field enhancement effects at the nano-structured surfaces and their role in ripple formation are estimated.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.