Control of waveguide properties by tuning femtosecond laser induced compositional changes

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Local compositional changes induced by high repetition rate fs-laser irradiation can be used to produce high performance optical waveguides in phosphate-based glasses. The waveguide refractive index contrast is determined by the local concentration of La, which can be changed by the action of the writing laser pulses. In this work, we have investigated the degree of control that can be exerted using this waveguide writing mechanism over the cross-section of the guiding region, and the local refractive index and compositional changes induced. These variables can be smoothly controlled via processing parameters using the slit shaping technique with moderate Numerical Aperture (NA 0.68) writing optics. The combined use of X-ray microanalysis and near field refractive index profilometry evidences a neat linear correlation between local La content and refractive index increase over a broad Δn interval (>3 x 10^2). This result further confirms the feasibility of generating efficient, integrated optics elements via spatially selective modification of the glass composition.
© 2014 AIP Publishing LLC. This work was partially supported by the Spanish Ministry Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, TEC2011-22422, MAT2012-31959), J.H. and T.T.F. acknowledge funding from the JAE CSIC Program (pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, respectively, co-funded by the European Social Fund). B. Sotillo acknowledges her funding in the frame of CSD2009-00013 (MINECO).
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