Article

Applied Physics A

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 301-309

First online:

Ultrafast laser writing of optical waveguides in ceramic Yb:YAG: a study of thermal and non-thermal regimes

  • A. BenayasAffiliated withDepartamento de Física de Materiales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Email author 
  • , W. F. SilvaAffiliated withGrupo de Fotônica e Fluidos Complexos, Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal de Alagoas
  • , A. RódenasAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
  • , C. JacintoAffiliated withGrupo de Fotônica e Fluidos Complexos, Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal de Alagoas
  • , J. Vázquez de AldanaAffiliated withGrupo de Óptica, Departamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad de Salamanca
  • , F. ChenAffiliated withSchool of Physics, Shandong University
  • , Y. TanAffiliated withSchool of Physics, Shandong University
  • , R. R. ThomsomAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
  • , N. D. PsailaAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
    • , D. T. ReidAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
    • , G. A. TorchiaAffiliated withCentro de Investigaciones Ópticas, CONICET-CIC
    • , A. K. KarAffiliated withSchool of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University
    • , D. JaqueAffiliated withDepartamento de Física de Materiales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

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Abstract

We report the improvement of ultrafast laser written optical waveguides in Yb:YAG ceramics by tailoring the presence of heat accumulation effects. From a combination of ytterbium micro-luminescence and micro-Raman structural analysis, maps of lattice defects and stress fields have been obtained. We show how laser annealing can strongly reduce the concentration of defects and also reduce compressive stress, leading to an effective 50% reduction in the propagation losses and to more extended and symmetric propagation modes.