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Ultrafast laser induced electronic and structural modifications in bulk fused silica

Abstract : Ultrashort laser pulses can modify the inner structure of fused silica, generating refractive index changes varying from soft positive (type I) light guiding forms to negative (type II) values with void presence and anisotropic sub-wavelength modulation. We investigate electronic and structural material changes in the type I to type II transition via coherent and incoherent secondary light emission reflecting free carrier behavior and post-irradiation material relaxation in the index change patterns. Using phase contrast microscopy, photoluminescence, and Raman spectroscopy, we determine in a space-resolved manner defect formation, redistribution and spatial segregation, and glass network reorganization paths in conditions marking the changeover between type I and type II photoinscription regimes. We first show characteristic patterns of second harmonic generation in type I and type II traces, indicating the collective involvement of free carriers and polarization memory. Second, incoherent photoemission from resonantly and non-resonantly excited defect states reveals accumulation of non-bridging oxygen hole centers (NBOHCs) in positive index domains and oxygen deficiency centers (ODCs) with O 2 ions segregation in voidlike regions and in the nanostructured domains, reflecting the interaction strength. Complementary Raman investigations put into evidence signatures of the different environments where photochemical densification (bond rearrangements) and mechanical effects can be indicated. NBOHCs setting in before visible index changes serve as precursors for subsequent compaction build-up, indicating a scenario of cold, defect-assisted densification for the soft type I irradiation regime. Additionally, we observe hydrodynamic effects and severe bond-breaking in type II zones with indications of phase transition. These observations illuminate densification paths in fused silica in low power irradiation regimes, and equally in energetic ranges, characterized by the onset of thermo-mechanical effects.
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Contributor : Razvan Stoian <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 3:28:07 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 6:56:07 PM




Konstantin Mishchik, Ciro d'Amico, Praveen Kumar Velpula, Cyril Mauclair, Aziz Boukenter, et al.. Ultrafast laser induced electronic and structural modifications in bulk fused silica. Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2013, 114, pp.133502. ⟨10.1063/1.4822313⟩. ⟨ujm-00869169⟩



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