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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 24 — Nov. 24, 2008
  • pp: 19520–19534

Scanning thermal microscopy and Raman analysis of bulk fused silica exposed to low-energy femtosecond laser pulses

Y. Bellouard, E. Barthel, A. A. Said, M. Dugan, and P. Bado  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 24, pp. 19520-19534 (2008)

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Low energy femtosecond laser pulses locally increase the refractive index and the hydro-fluoric acid etching rate of fused silica. These phenomena form the basis of a direct-write method to fabricate integrated glass devices that are of particular interest for optofluidics and optomechanical applications. Yet the underlying physical mechanism behind these effects remains elusive, especially the role of the laser polarization. Using Scanning Thermal Microscope and Raman spectrometer we observe in laser affected zones, a localized sharp decrease of the thermal conductivity correlated with an increased presence of low-number SiO2 cycles. In addition, we find that a high correlation exists between the amount of structural changes and the decrease of thermal conductivity. Furthermore, sub-wavelength periodic patterns are detected for high peak power exposures. Finally, our findings indicate that, to date, the localized densification induced by femtosecond laser pulses remains well below the theoretical value achievable in mechanically densified silica.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.2750) Materials : Glass and other amorphous materials
(230.7370) Optical devices : Waveguides
(320.7130) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast processes in condensed matter, including semiconductors

ToC Category:
Integrated Optics

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2008
Revised Manuscript: November 4, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: November 4, 2008
Published: November 11, 2008

Y. Bellouard, E. Barthel, A. A. Said, M. Dugan, and P. Bado, "Scanning thermal microscopy and Raman analysis of bulk fused silica exposed to lowenergy femtosecond laser pulses," Opt. Express 16, 19520-19534 (2008)

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