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9 March 2016 Advanced optic fabrication using ultrafast laser radiation
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Advanced fabrication and finishing techniques are desired for freeform optics and integrated photonics. Methods including grinding, polishing and magnetorheological finishing used for final figuring and polishing of such optics are time consuming, expensive, and may be unsuitable for complex surface features while common photonics fabrication techniques often limit devices to planar geometries. Laser processing has been investigated as an alternative method for optic forming, surface polishing, structure writing, and welding, as direct tuning of laser parameters and flexible beam delivery are advantageous for complex freeform or photonics elements and material-specific processing. Continuous wave and pulsed laser radiation down to the nanosecond regime have been implemented to achieve nanoscale surface finishes through localized material melting, but the temporal extent of the laser-material interaction often results in the formation of a sub-surface heat affected zone. The temporal brevity of ultrafast laser radiation can allow for the direct vaporization of rough surface asperities with minimal melting, offering the potential for smooth, final surface quality with negligible heat affected material. High intensities achieved in focused ultrafast laser radiation can easily induce phase changes in the bulk of materials for processing applications. We have experimentally tested the effectiveness of ultrafast laser radiation as an alternative laser source for surface processing of monocrystalline silicon. Simulation of material heating associated with ultrafast laser-material interaction has been performed and used to investigate optimized processing parameters including repetition rate. The parameter optimization process and results of experimental processing will be presented.
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Lauren L. Taylor, Jun Qiao, and Jie Qiao "Advanced optic fabrication using ultrafast laser radiation", Proc. SPIE 9740, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XVI, 97400L (9 March 2016);


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