Femtosecond laser modification of fused silica: The effect of writing polarization on Si-O ring structure

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A femtosecond laser with a 1 kHz repetition rate and two different polarization states was used to fabricate low-loss waveguides in fused silica. Investigations of chemically-mechanically polished waveguide regions using near-field scanning optical microscopy revealed the presence of modifications outside the glass regions directly exposed to a circularly polarized writing laser. These waveguides also exhibited refractive index contrast up to twice as large as that of waveguides written with linearly polarized radiation. The observed differences in refractive index were shown by Raman spectroscopy to correlate to an increased concentration of 3-member silicon-oxygen ring structures. We propose that the observed differences in material properties are due to the polarization dependence of photo-ionization rates in fused silica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20029-20037
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Express
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in Optics Express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: [http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-24-20029]. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


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