Ultrafast laser fabrication enables micro-structuring of diamond in 3D with a range of functionality. An ultrashort pulsed beam focused beneath the diamond surface induces structural modifications which are highly localised in three dimensions. At high pulse energy, the laser breaks down the diamond lattice at focus to form a graphitic phase. We demonstrate high resolution analysis of the structural changes revealing the graphitic phase to be formed of small clusters (~100 nm in size) of amorphous sp2 bonded carbon accompanied by localised cracking of the diamond. When the laser focus is traced through the diamond, continuous graphitic wires are created which are electrically conductive. We have used such wires to fabricate large-area 3D radiation sensors which have been employed for the detection of high energy protons. Such graphitic wires have an associated stress field and a related localised modulation of the refractive index. We have recently written combinations of graphitic tracks in diamond to engineer stress fields to give a desired refractive index distribution and form an optical waveguide. Type III waveguides are demonstrated that allow guiding of both polarization states. We also show that by reducing the laser pulse energy, it is possible to avoid complete breakdown of the diamond lattice and simply introduce an ensemble of vacancies within the focal volume. This can be used to create single coherent NV centres in diamond isolated in 3D. All these processes are improved by processing at high numerical aperture (NA), for which adaptive optics aberration correction is essential.
Patrick S. Salter and Martin J. Booth, "Multi-functional laser fabrication of diamond (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10094, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XVII, 100940S (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252545.5389862320001.
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