Transmission electron microscopy studies of femtosecond laser induced modifications in quartz
Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy investigations of femtosecond laser induced sub-micrometer structural modifications inside crystalline quartz were carried out. Modifications from single laser shots and from lines built of overlapping shots were imaged. Both single laser shot modifications and line structures show an amorphous core surrounded by a disturbed crystalline structure. A strong strain field surrounding the central, irradiated, core is responsible for an increase of the refractive index. Finite element method calculations of the strain field show maxima on both sides of the irradiated core, which are in good agreement with optical measurements of the refractive-index change.