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|Fabrication and characterization of femtosecond laser-written waveguides in flexible glass|
|Keywords: Waveguide fabrication, Femtosecond laser writing, In-situ structural analysis|
|Direct writing of waveguides with femtosecond (fs) laser pulses is a promising tool for applications ranging from fabricating quantum photonic circuits  to all-optical routing/switching . Femtosecond laser writing of photonic components on flexible glass is particularly important, since mechanical flexibility can be used to tune operational wavelengths of photonic circuits  and integrate photonic sensors into biological tissues . However, the physical mechanisms of waveguide formation are not well understood, so further experimental studies are needed to characterize the writing process for more advanced applications. In this study, we use 1 kHz, 800 nm, 45 fs laser pulses to fabricate waveguides in 200-um thick flexible Willow glass (Corning) substrates by tuning laser parameters, such as pulse energy (1.5 uJ to 3.5 uJ) and writing speeds (20 um/s to 40 um/s). First, waveguide functionality is demonstrated by directly coupling the fs beam, which yields a localized Gaussian mode at the waveguide output with a diameter of ~ 5 um, measured with a charge coupled device camera. Second, we characterize the fabrication process by measuring micron-scale structural changes on fs time scales with techniques based on digital in-line holography (ILH) . Refractive index distributions of waveguides are characterized via ILH, yielding an average refractive index change due to fabrication of ~ 8x10^(-4) and an average waveguide diameter of ~ 10 um.|
|Rostislav I. Grynko, PhD student
Johnson City, New York