We show that three-dimensional micro-optical components can be embedded in a photosensitive glass by a femtosecond (fs) laser. After exposure to the tightly focused fs laser beam, latent images are written inside the sample. Modified regions are developed by a postbaking process and then preferentially etched away in a 10%-dilute solution of hydrofluoric acid. After this process, hollow internal structures are formed that act as a mirror and a beam splitter. Furthermore, we find that postannealing smoothes the surfaces of the fabricated hollow structures, resulting in great improvement of their optical properties.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.3390) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials processing
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(270.4180) Quantum optics : Multiphoton processes
(350.3390) Other areas of optics : Laser materials processing
Ya Cheng, Koji Sugioka, Katsumi Midorikawa, Masashi Masuda, Koichi Toyoda, Masako Kawachi, and Kazuhiko Shihoyama, "Three-dimensional micro-optical components embedded in photosensitive glass by a femtosecond laser," Opt. Lett. 28, 1144-1146 (2003)