Morphology of femtosecond laser-induced structural changes in bulk transparent materials

Chris B. Schaffer, Alan O. Jamison, and Eric Mazur

Applied Physics Letters (2004)

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Using optical and electron microscopy, we analyze the energy and focusing angle dependence of structural changes induced in bulk glass by tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses. We observe a transition from small density variations in the material to void formation with increasing laser energy. At energies close to the threshold for producing a structural change, the shape of the structurally changed region is determined by the focal volume of the objective used to focus the femtosecond pulse, while at higher energies, the structural change takes on a conical shape. From these morphological observations, we infer the role of various mechanisms for structural change

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