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Ultrafast Processes for Bulk Modification of Transparent Materials

  • Kazuyoshi Itoh, Wataru Watanabe, Stefan Nolte and Chris B. Schaffer
Abstract

When a femtosecond laser pulse is focused inside a transparent material, the optical intensity in the focal volume can become high enough to induce permanent structural modifications such as a refractive index change or the formation of a small vacancy. Thus, one can micromachine structures inside the bulk of a transparent material in three dimensions. We review the mechanisms of and techniques for bulk modification of transparent materials using femtosecond laser pulses and discuss the fabrication of photonic and other structures in transparent materials, including waveguides, couplers, gratings, diffractive lenses, optical data storage, and microfluidic channels.

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