25 September 2007 Waveguide fabrication in PMMA using a modified cavity femtosecond oscillator
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Poly Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA) is an advantageous material than glass in oceanographic sensing applications because of its inhospitality for marine organisms. Waveguide sensors fabricated in PMMA are often used to measure the parameters in ocean such as PH, CO2, O2 concentrations, etc. A tightly-focused femtosecond laser is often used to produce such a waveguide or even more complicated structures through the nonlinear effect in the bulk of PMMA, with pulse energy at μJ or mJ level. And such a laser system requires the amplifier from chirped-pulse amplification (CPA). The oscillator itself can produce pulse energy only at nJ level which is under the threshold of nonlinear effect. However, in our experiment, a modification to the oscillator cavity, which elongates the cavity length approximately 3 times and as a result, decreases the repetition rate from 93mHz to 32 mHz, can increase the pulse energy to 15 nJ. Under a tight focusing lens (100x 1.40 microscope objective), such an intensity exceeds the nonlinear threshold of PMMA. Thus, waveguide can be fabricated in PMMA using only a femtosecond oscillator and oceanographic sensors can be also made by this simple technique.
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Ke Wang, Ke Wang, Denis Klimov, Denis Klimov, Zbigniew Kolber, Zbigniew Kolber, } "Waveguide fabrication in PMMA using a modified cavity femtosecond oscillator", Proc. SPIE 6766, Optoelectronic Devices: Physics, Fabrication, and Application IV, 67660Q (25 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.742094; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.742094

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