We demonstrate a method of laser ablation with reduced feature size by using a pair of ultrashort pulses that are partially overlapped in space. By tuning the delay between the two pulses, features within the overlapping area are obtained on the surface of fused silica. The observed dependence of the feature position on delays longer than the free-carrier lifetime indicates an ionization pathway initiated by self-trapped excitons. This method could be used to enhance the resolution of laser-based lithography.
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26 March 2020: A typographical correction was made to the funding section.
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