Direct laser writing of a new type of optical waveguides and components in silver containing glasses

Abstract : Direct Laser Writing (DLW) has been an exponentially growing research field during the last two decades, by providing an efficient and robust way to directly address three dimensional (3D) structures in transparent materials such as glasses using femtosecond laser pulses. It exhibits many advantages over lithography technique which is mostly limited to two dimensional (2D) structuring and involves many fabrication steps. This competitive aspect makes the DLW technique suitable for future technological transfer to advanced industrial manufacturing. Generally, DLW in glasses induces physical changes such as permanent local refractive index modifications that have been classified under three distinct types: (Type I, Type II & Type III). In silver containing glasses with embedded silver ions Ag+, DLW induces the creation of fluorescent silver clusters Agmx+ at the vicinity of the interaction voxel. In this work, we present a new type of refractive index change, called type A that is based on the creation of the photo-induced silver clusters allowing the creation of new linear and nonlinear optical waveguides in silver containing glasses. Various waveguides, a 50-50 Y beam splitter, as well as optical couplers, were written based on type A modification inside bulk glasses and further characterized. On the other hand, a comparison study between type A and type I waveguides is presented, showing that finely tuning the laser parameters allows the creation of either type A or type I modification inside silver containing glasses. Finally, based on type A near-surface waveguides, a highly sensitive refractive index sensor is created in a 1 cm glass chip, which could exhibit a pioneer demonstration of double sensing refractive ranges. The waveguiding properties observed and reported in the bulk of such silver containing glasses were transposed to ribbon shaped fibers of the same material. Those results pave the way towards the fabrication of 3D integrated circuits and fiber sensors with original fluorescent, nonlinear and plasmonic properties that are not accessible using the standard type I modification
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Alain Abou Khalil. Direct laser writing of a new type of optical waveguides and components in silver containing glasses. Biotechnology. Université de Bordeaux; Université Laval (Québec, Canada), 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018BORD0290⟩. ⟨tel-02275792⟩

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