Femtosecond Laser Fabrication of Tubular Waveguides in Poly(methyl methacrylate)

Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, United States
Optics Letters (Impact Factor: 3.29). 09/2004; 29(16):1840-2. DOI: 10.1364/OL.29.001840
Source: PubMed


Femtosecond laser direct writing is employed for the fabrication of buried tubular waveguides in bulk poly(methyl methacrylate). A novel technique using selective chemical etching is presented to resolve the two-dimensional refractive-index profile of the fabrication structures. End-to-end coupling in the waveguides reveals a near-field intensity distribution that results from the superimposition of several propagating modes with different azimuthal symmetries. Mode analysis of the tubular waveguides is performed using the finite-difference method, and the possible propagating mode profiles are compared with the experimental data.

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Available from: Kathleen Richardson, May 24, 2014
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    • "The use of ultrashort laser pulses for micromachining transparent materials has been applied in the fabrication of several optical devices, such as, for instance, amplifiers, resonators, waveguides, and switches, most of them in glass [7]–[9]. In the last few years, however, this technique has started being explored to fabricate photonic devices in polymers [10]–[13]. Polymeric materials are promising candidates for photonic devices mainly because their optical properties can be modified by chemical synthesis or doping, which allows tailoring for specific applications. Although there are several methods capable of structuring polymers in a low-cost and reproducible way, most of them—standard photolithography, electron beam writing, or photopatterning in photosensitive polymers [4], [14]–[17]—are limited to structuring only the sample's surface. "
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    • "Polymers have been shown to be interesting materials for the development of several devices [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7], mainly due to the flexibility of tailoring their properties to match specific goals. Numerous methods have been explored to structure the surface of polymers, aiming at technological applications. "
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    • "Femtosecond laser direct writing (FLDW) is a powerful technique to generate truly 3-D features in transparent bulk materials [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]. It provides a unique 3-D fabrication protocol creating embedded structures with a single step process. "
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    ABSTRACT: Femtosecond laser direct writing (FLDW) has been widely employed to create volumetric structures in transparent materials that are applicable as various photonic devices such as active and passive waveguides, couplers, gratings, and diffractive optical elements (DOEs). The advantages of fabrication of volumetric DOEs using FLDW include not only the ability to produce embedded 3D structures but also a simple fabrication scheme, ease of customization, and a clean process. DOE fabrication techniques using FLDW are presented as well as the characterization of laser-written DOEs by various methods such as diffraction efficiency measurement. Fresnel zone plates were fabricated in oxide glasses using various femtosecond laser systems in high and low repetition rate regimes. The diffraction efficiency as functions of fabrication parameters was measured to investigate the dependence on the different fabrication parameters such as repetition rate and laser dose. Furthermore, several integration schemes of DOE with other photonic structures are demonstrated for compact photonic device fabrication.
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