Using tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses of just 5 nJ, we produce optical breakdown and structural change in bulk transparent materials and demonstrate micromachining of transparent materials by use of unamplified lasers. We present measurements of the threshold for structural change in Corning 0211 glass as well as a study of the morphology of the structures produced by single and multiple laser pulses. At a high repetition rate, multiple pulses produce a structural change dominated by cumulative heating of the material by successive laser pulses. Using this cumulative heating effect, we write single-mode optical waveguides inside bulk glass, using only a laser oscillator.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Chris B. Schaffer, André Brodeur, José F. García, and Eric Mazur, "Micromachining bulk glass by use of femtosecond laser pulses with nanojoule energy," Opt. Lett. 26, 93-95 (2001)