OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 45, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 2006
  • pp: 162–171

Efficient laser polishing of silica micro-optic components

Krzysztof M. Nowak, Howard J. Baker, and Denis R. Hall  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 1, pp. 162-171 (2006)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (867 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We report a study of the basic characteristics of laser polishing of fused silica with a protocol that is particularly suitable for surface smoothing of micro-optic elements fabricated by a laser ablation process. We describe a new, to our knowledge, approach based on scanning a highly controlled small size laser beam and melting areas of tens to hundreds of micrometers of glass using a computer-controlled raster scan process, which does not require beam shaping, substrate preheating, or special atmospheres. Special test samples of silica substrates with prescribed spatial frequency content were polished using a range of irradiation conditions with the beam from a well-controlled CO 2 laser operating at a wavelength of 10.59 μ m . An analysis is presented of the laser-generated reduction in surface roughness in terms of measurements of the spatial frequency characteristics, and the results are compared with the predictions of a simple model of surface-tension-driven mass flow within the laser-melted layer. This technique is shown to be capable of smoothing silica surfaces with 1 μ m scale roughness down to levels < 1   nm with no net effect on the as-machined net surface shape, at realistic production rates without a preheating stage, and with noncritical residual stresses.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2190) General : Experimental physics
(120.4610) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical fabrication
(120.5820) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Scattering measurements
(220.4000) Optical design and fabrication : Microstructure fabrication
(220.5450) Optical design and fabrication : Polishing
(350.3390) Other areas of optics : Laser materials processing

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Krzysztof M. Nowak, Howard J. Baker, and Denis R. Hall, "Efficient laser polishing of silica micro-optic components," Appl. Opt. 45, 162-171 (2006)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. F. Laguarta, N. Lupon, and J. Armengol, "Optical-glass polishing by controlled laser surface-heat treatment," Appl. Opt. 33, 6508-6513 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. J. F. Monjardin, K. M. Nowak, A. R. Holdsworth, H. J. Baker, and D. R. Hall, "Brightness improvement for micro-lensed, laser diode bar stacks," presented at Advanced Solid-State Photonics Topical Meeting, San Antonio, Tex., 2-5 February 2003.
  3. R. M. Brusasco, B. M. Penetrante, J. A. Butler, and L. W. Hrubesh, "Localized CO2 laser treatment for mitigation of damage growth in fused silica," presented at the Boulder Laser Damage Symposium XXXIII, Boulder, Colo, 1-3 October 2001.
  4. E. Mendez, H. J. Baker, K. M. Nowak, F. Villarreal, and D. R. Hall, "Highly localized CO2 laser cleaning and damage repair of silica optical surfaces," presented at the Boulder Laser Damage Symposium XXXVI, Boulder, Colo, 20-22 September 2004.
  5. P. A. Temple, W. H. Lowdermilk, and D. Milam, "Carbon-dioxide laser polishing of fused-silica surfaces for increased laser-damage resistance at 1064 nm," Appl. Opt. 21, 3249-3255 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Y. M. Xiao and M. Bass, "Thermal-stress limitations to laser fire polishing of glasses," Appl. Opt 22, 2933-2936 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. F. Vega, N. Lupon, J. A. Cebrian and F. Laguarta, "Laser application for optical glass polishing," Opt. Eng. 37, 272-279 (1998). [CrossRef]
  8. D. G. Holloway, The Physical Properties of Glasses (Wykeham Publications, 1973), pp. 19-20.
  9. J. L. Ocaña, A. Garcia-Beltran, F. Laguarta, J. Armengol, N. Lupon, and F. Vega, "Laser heat treatments driven by integrated beams: role of irradiation nonuniformities," Appl. Opt 38, 4570-4576 (1999). [CrossRef]
  10. J. Hentze and V. Lissotschenko, "Method and device for the production of optical lenses or the like," U.S. patent 5,504,302 (2 April 1996).
  11. V. P. Veiko, "Laser-based technology for micro-optics and photonics components fabrication," in International Symposium on Photonic Glass, C. Zhu, ed., Proc. SPIE 5061, 103-111 (2003). [CrossRef]
  12. G. A. J. Markillie, H. J. Baker, F. J. Villarreal, and D. R. Hall, "Effect of vaporization and melt ejection on laser machining of silica glass micro-optical components," Appl. Opt 41, 5660-5667 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. L. K. White, N. A. Miszkowski, W. A. Kurylo, and J. M. Shaw, "Flow properties and contour modeling of fusible borophosphosilicate glasses," J. Electrochem. Soc. , 139, 822-826 (1992). [CrossRef]
  14. A. Paul, Chemistry of Glasses (Chapman & Hall, 1982), pp. 75, 88. [CrossRef]
  15. A. D. McLachlan and F. P. Meyer, "Temperature dependence of the extinction coefficient of fused silica for CO2 laser wavelengths," Appl. Opt. 26, 1728-1731 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. L. Holland, The Properties of Glass Surfaces (Chapman & Hall, 1966).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited