Crossing the threshold of ultrafast laser writing in bulk silicon

Margaux Chanal, Vladimir Yu Fedorov, Maxime Chambonneau, Raphaël Clady, Stylianos Tzortzakis, David Grojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An important challenge in the field of three-dimensional ultrafast laser processing is to achieve permanent modifications in the bulk of silicon and narrow-gap materials. Recent attempts by increasing the energy of infrared ultrashort pulses have simply failed. Here, we establish that it is because focusing with a maximum numerical aperture of about 1.5 with conventional schemes does not allow overcoming strong nonlinear and plasma effects in the pre-focal region. We circumvent this limitation by exploiting solid-immersion focusing, in analogy to techniques applied in advanced microscopy and lithography. By creating the conditions for an interaction with an extreme numerical aperture near 3 in a perfect spherical sample, repeatable femtosecond optical breakdown and controllable refractive index modifications are achieved inside silicon. This opens the door to the direct writing of three-dimensional monolithic devices for silicon photonics. It also provides perspectives for new strong-field physics and warm-dense-matter plasma experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number773
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Fingerprint

Ultrafast lasers
Silicon
Lasers
numerical aperture
thresholds
silicon
Optics and Photonics
lasers
Plasmas
Refractometry
Physics
Immersion
Ultrashort pulses
Photonics
Lithography
submerging
Microscopy
Refractive index
Microscopic examination
lithography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Crossing the threshold of ultrafast laser writing in bulk silicon. / Chanal, Margaux; Fedorov, Vladimir Yu; Chambonneau, Maxime; Clady, Raphaël; Tzortzakis, Stylianos; Grojo, David.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 8, No. 1, 773, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chanal, Margaux ; Fedorov, Vladimir Yu ; Chambonneau, Maxime ; Clady, Raphaël ; Tzortzakis, Stylianos ; Grojo, David. / Crossing the threshold of ultrafast laser writing in bulk silicon. In: Nature Communications. 2017 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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