Direct fabrication of surface-relief grating by interferometric technique using femtosecond laser
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- Venkatakrishnan, K., Sivakumar, N., Hee, C. et al. Appl Phys A (2003) 77: 959. doi:10.1007/s00339-002-1993-4
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A surface-relief grating is a key element in optical communication and opto-electronic integrated devices. To date, many techniques for fabricating surface-relief gratings have been reported, but the present techniques still have many limitations and disadvantages. In this paper we present a new optical configuration to imprint a surface-relief grating by two-beam interferometry using a femtosecond laser. A relatively simple set-up is proposed in order to generate two parallel laser beams and then focus them by a common focusing lens to obtain an interference pattern. With the use of the common focusing lens, the two parallel beams will interfere exactly at the focal plane. This new optical set-up not only facilitates the alignment but also enhances the tunability to obtain different grating periods. Experimental results on solid copper targets are presented. The grating surface morphologies are studied by a scanning electron microscope and the grating relief profiles are characterized by an atomic force microscope. The prominent experimental results obtained have verified the feasibility of the new technique. In addition, the influence of laser fluence and pulse number on the surface morphology is presented.