Non-thermal light-induced surface processes hold out hope for the development of new approaches to surface nanostructuring. Although they do not seem to be as flexible and universal as photolithography a number of niche application are waiting for a specific cheap and easy process. The light induced atomic desorption is a reliable tool to control the surface number density of the adsorbed atoms in the course of the physical vapor deposition process. The strong enough illumination diminishes the number density of the adsorbed atoms below the threshold value needed for the beginning of the nucleation process. Hence, the deposition pattern reproduces the distribution of the illumination intensity over the surface. In some cases plasmonic nanostructures are obtained via self organization of metal deposits on dielectric substrates. Their performance is severely hindered by the broad size and shape distributions. The non-thermal light-induced detachment of surface atoms from the metal nanoparticles may be used to tune their size and shape. In particular, we find that a narrow dip in the shape distribution of the metal nanoparticles may be obtained by the laser treatment at the specific wavelengths.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.