Applied Physics B

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 85–96 | Cite as

Refractive index change mechanisms in femtosecond laser written ceramic Nd:YAG waveguides: micro-spectroscopy experiments and beam propagation calculations

  • A. Ródenas
  • G. A. Torchia
  • G. Lifante
  • E. Cantelar
  • J. Lamela
  • F. Jaque
  • L. Roso
  • D. Jaque
Article

Abstract

The effect that femtosecond laser filamentation has on the refractive index of Nd:YAG ceramics, and which leads to the formation of waveguide lasers, has been studied by micro-spectroscopy imaging, beam propagation experiments and calculations. From the analysis of the Nd3+ luminescence and Raman images, two main types of laser induced modifications have been found to contribute to the refractive-index change: (i) a lattice defect contribution localized along the self-focusing volume of the laser pulses, in which lattice damage causes a refractive-index decrease, and (ii) a lattice strain-field contribution around and inside the filaments, in which the pressure-driven variation of the inter-atomic distances causes refractive-index variations. Scanning near-field optical-transmission and end-coupling experiments, in combination with beam propagation calculations, have been used to quantitatively determine the corresponding contribution of each effect to the refractive-index field of double-filament waveguides. Results indicate that the strain-field induced refractive-index increment is the main mechanism leading to waveguiding, whereas the damage-induced refractive-index reduction at filaments leads to a stronger mode confinement.

PACS

78.20.Ci 78.30.-j 42.82.Et 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ródenas
    • 1
  • G. A. Torchia
    • 2
    • 3
  • G. Lifante
    • 1
  • E. Cantelar
    • 1
  • J. Lamela
    • 1
  • F. Jaque
    • 1
  • L. Roso
    • 3
  • D. Jaque
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Física de Materiales, C-IV, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.CIOp, Centro de Investigaciones ÓpticasCIC-ConicetLa PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Grupo de Óptica, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de SalamancaSalamancaSpain

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