Abstract

A femtosecond laser beam focused inside fused silica and other glasses can modify the refractive index of the glass. Chemical etching and atomic-force microscope studies show that the modified region can have a sharp-tipped cone-shaped structure with a tip diameter as small as 100 nm. Placing the structure near the bottom surface of a silica glass sample and applying a selective chemical etch to the bottom surface produces clean, circular, submicrometer-diameter holes. Holes spaced as close to one another as 1.4 µm are demonstrated.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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