Laser radiation is used both for the deposition of the laser active thin films and for the micro structuring to define wave guiding structures for the fabrication of waveguide lasers. Thin films of Er:ZBLAN (a glass consisting of ZrF<sub>4</sub>, BaF<sub>2</sub>, LaF<sub>3</sub>, AlF<sub>3</sub>, NaF, ErF<sub>3</sub>) for green upconversion lasers (545 nm), Nd:YAG (Y<sub>3</sub>Al<sub>5</sub>O<sub>12</sub>) and Nd:GGG (Gd<sub>3</sub>Ga<sub>5</sub>O<sub>12</sub>) for infrared lasers (1064 nm) are produced. Manufacturing of the laser active waveguides by micro-structuring is done using fs laser ablation of the deposited films. The structural and optical properties of the films and the damping losses of the structured waveguides are determined in view of the design and the fabrication of compact and efficient diode pumped waveguide lasers. The resulting waveguides are polished, provided with resonator mirrors, pumped using diode lasers and characterized.
Laser operation of a ridge waveguide structure grown by pulsed laser deposition and structured by fs laser ablation is demonstrated. A 1 &mgr;m thick, 100 &mgr;m wide and 3 mm long structured waveguide consisting of amorphous neodymium doped Gd<sub>3</sub>Ga<sub>5</sub>O<sub>12</sub> has shown laser activity at 1.068 &mgr;m when pumped by a diode laser at 808 nm.