Abstract

This study describes the observation of large induced refractive index changes produced by 157nm excimer laser exposure in high-purity synthetic silica glasses. With 157nm exposure, large induced changes are observed within a few hundred thousand pulses of exposure. Similar to 193nm exposures, exposure with polarized 157nm light yields polarization-induced birefringence (PIB). However, the 157nm exposure also exhibits a behavior not observed with 193nm exposures; namely, the initial response of the glass is a decrease in refractive index, followed by an increase with continued exposure. An explanation of the behaviors for both wavelength results is proposed where the induced refractive index is considered to arise from two different concurrent phenomena. One produces a decreased refractive index and also accounts for the PIB. The other, which accounts for the increased refractive index, is associated with an isotropic laser-induced volume change.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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