Femtosecond laser micro-machining and consequent self-assembled nano-structures in transparent materials
In this thesis we have reported novel developments in the field of femtosecond laser micro-machining within the bulk of transparent materials. Thanks to its unique properties, the femtosecond laser writing technique offers the potential for realizing three-dimensional multi-component photonic devices, fabricated in a single step and in a variety of transparent materials. When we began to research in this field, there had been no studies conducted on the ability of femtosecond lasers to fabricate diffractive optical components in the bulk of a dielectric material. These are necessary components for the realization of monolithic optical devices. Our work led to the first demonstration of femtosecond directly written diffractive optic devices (Fresnel zone plates) embedded in a silica substrate. Both the focusing properties and efficiencies of the devices compared well with the theoretical values.