Abstract

A new regime for silica glass machining for micro-optical fabrication applications, which uses pulsed CO2 laser radiation in the 2.5–100-µs pulse width region that has been generated by an acousto-optic modulator, is investigated. A filamentary melt ejection process that generates fibers and significant melt displacement limits machining quality below 30-µs pulse width. Ablation and melt ejection thresholds are quantified relative to pulse width, and the region from 30 to 50 µs is identified for low-threshold, smooth machining without melt displacement and ejection effects.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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