11 February 2011 Time-resolved imaging of bulk a-SiO2 upon various ultrashort excitation sequences
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Abstract
Ultrashort pulses lasers are tools of choice for functionalizing the bulk of transparent materials. In particular, direct photoinscription of simple photonic functions have been demonstrated. Those elementary functions rely on the local refractive index change induced when focusing an ultrashort pulse in the volume of a transparent material. The range of possibilities offered by direct photoinscription is still under investigation. To help understanding, optimizing and assessing the full potential of this method, we developed a time-resolved phase contrast microscopy setup. The imaginary part (absorption) and the real part of the laser-induced complex refractive index can be visualized in the irradiated region. The setup is based on a commercially available phase contrast microscope extended into a pump-probe scheme. The originality of our approach is that the illumination is performed by using a pulsed laser source (i.e. a probe beam). Speckle-related issues are solved by employing adequate sets of diffusers. This laser-microscopy technique has a spatial resolution of 650 nm, and the impulse response is about 300 fs. The laser-induced refractive index changes can be tracked up to milliseconds after the energy deposition. The excitation beam (the pump) is focused with a microscope objective (numerical aperture of 0.45) into the bulk of an a-SiO2 sample. The pump beam can be temporally shaped with a SLM-based pulse shaping unit. This additional degree of flexibility allows for observing different interaction regimes. For instance, bulk material processing with femtosecond and picosecond duration pulses will be studied.
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A. Mermillod-Blondin, A. Mermillod-Blondin, C. Mauclair, C. Mauclair, A. Rosenfeld, A. Rosenfeld, J. Bonse, J. Bonse, R. Stoian, R. Stoian, E. Audouard, E. Audouard, } "Time-resolved imaging of bulk a-SiO2 upon various ultrashort excitation sequences", Proc. SPIE 7925, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XI, 79250R (11 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.876687; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.876687
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