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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Feb 10;96(5):057404. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Optically produced arrays of planar nanostructures inside fused silica.

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1
Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences, National Research Council, 100 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, K1A 0R6, Canada.

Abstract

Linearly polarized femtosecond light pulses, focused inside fused silica to an intensity that leads to multiphoton ionization, produce arrayed planes of modified material having their normal parallel to the laser polarization. The planes are < or = 10 nm thick and are spaced at approximately lambda/2 in the medium for free space wavelengths of both 800 and 400 nm. By slowly scanning the sample under a fixed laser focus, order is maintained over macroscopic distances for all angles between the polarization and scan direction. With the laser polarization parallel to the scan direction we produce long-range Bragg-like gratings. We discuss how local field enhancement influences dielectric ionization, describe how this leads to nanoplane growth, why the planes are arrayed, and how long-range order is maintained.

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