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3-D metallic structures in diffused ion exchange glasses (electronics and materials-optical materials)

 

Supervised by Drs Patricia Scully of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science with Dr Med Benyezzar (The Photon Science Institute)

This project will use the range of pulselengths, repetition rates and wavelengths available with newly commissioned femtosecond (fs) lasers in the Photon Science Institute, to create 3D metallic microstructures using silver nanoparticle diffused ion exchange glass. This will generate novel 3D structures within the glass such as:

  • Electrical components
  • Diffraction-less lenses
  • 3-D micro-analytical systems combining optical and metallic structures within the same medium
  • Electro-optic devices, microstructures for Raman scattering, SERS and surface plasmon resonance
  • Metamaterials for Terahertz components

The laser glass interaction in the fs regime, exhibits strong nonlinearities without modifying the linear refractive index, enabling writing below the diffraction limit1, leading to applications such as 3D optical data storage or Lab-On-Chip devices2. Research challenges include maximizing the optical modification without damage, minimizing the feature size and exploring the effects of fluence, wavelength, pulse duration, rep-rate, polarization3, and thermal diffusion during the writing process. The work will involve optical and photochemical characterization, and studying the effect of structure depth below the surface together with restrictions or opportunities based by non-linear material interactions and multiphoton absorption at high intensities, for example, to achieve modification below the diffraction limit.

To date, fs laser wavelengths available include 800 nm and 400 nm at 100fs, with newly commissioned OPAs providing a range of variable wavelengths, pulse lengths and fluences. Initial work will elucidate the working parameters for producing simple subsurface metallic formations using specific ultrafast lasers, subsequent work will generate useful structures from those building blocks.

The project will include:

  • Obtaining or preparing fully diffused glass
  • Creating metallic structures below the glass surface
    – simple amalgamation of silver and characterize
    – produce structures (microwires) and bring pathways to the glass surface
    – produce targeted 3D structures
  • Characterization of structures using optical (density, spectral response) , electrical (conductivity), and microscopic techniques

[1] Matthieu Bellec, Arnaud Royon, Bruno Bousquet, Kevin Bourhis, Mona Treguer, Thierry Cardinal, Martin Richardson, and Lionel Canioni, OPTICS EXPRESS 10304, 17, No. 12 (2009).

[2] Y Cheng, Zhizhan Xu, Jian Xu, Koji Sugioka, and Katsumi Midorikawa, The Review of Laser Engineering Supplemental Volume 2008, p.1206.

[3] A Stalmashonak, H Graener, and G Seifert, Applied Physics Letters 94, 193111 , (2009)

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