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Opt Express. 2007 Sep 17;15(19):12395-408.

Analysis of the effects of spherical aberration on ultrafast laser-induced refractive index variation in glass.


We propose a comprehensive analysis of the effects that spherical aberration may have on the process of ultrafast laser photowriting in bulk transparent materials and discuss the consequences for the generated refractive index changes. Practical aspects for a longitudinal photowriting configuration are emphasized. Laser-induced index variation in BK7 optical glass and fused silica (a-SiO(2)) affected by spherical aberration are characterized experimentally using phase-contrast optical microscopy. Experimental data are matched by analytical equations describing light propagation through dielectric interfaces. Corrective solutions are proposed with a particular focus on the spatial resolution achievable and on the conditions to obtain homogeneously photo-induced waveguides in a longitudinal writing configuration.

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