APPLIED PHYSICS: Burning Holes in Glass

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Science  04 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5629, pp. 21a
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5629.21a

In the field of optics, there is great interest at present in manipulating light with periodically structured optical materials, known as photonic crystals. However, the fabrication processes of these optical materials can be quite demanding, and simpler routes are being sought. Taylor et al. demonstrate the ability to pattern structures (holes) directly in optical-quality silica using femtosecond laser pulses. The pulses modify the refractive index of the material locally, and a subsequent HF etching step leaves behind a smooth-walled conically-shaped hole, the diameter of which can be varied from 0.1 to 1.0 μm. It is also feasible to fabricate two holes, just 1.4 μm apart, which raises the possibility of using the technique to produce high-quality two-dimensional photonic crystals. — ISO

Opt. Lett. 28, 1043 (2003).

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