We report precision microfabrication of fused quartz by laser ablation with a conventional UV laser for what is believed to be the first time. A high-quality micrograting structure is fabricated in fused quartz by a novel technique of laser-induced plasma-assisted ablation with a single KrF excimer laser (248 nm). The plasma generated from a metal target by laser irradiation effectively assists in ablation of the fused-quartz substrate by the same laser beam, although the laser beam is transparent to the substrate. A grating with a period of 1.06 μm is achieved by use of a phase mask. We can control the grating depth to 300 nm by changing the pulse number. This technique permits high-quality microfabrication of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on fused quartz and related silicate materials by use of a conventional UV laser.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.2180) Lasers and laser optics : Excimer lasers
(350.2660) Other areas of optics : Fusion
(350.2770) Other areas of optics : Gratings
(350.5400) Other areas of optics : Plasmas
Jie Zhang, Koji Sugioka, and Katsumi Midorikawa, "Direct fabrication of microgratings in fused quartz by laser-induced plasma-assisted ablation with a KrF excimer laser," Opt. Lett. 23, 1486-1488 (1998)