We identify two states of stress induced in waveguides fabricated by femtosecond lasers in fused silica and show how they can be relieved by annealing. In-plane stress and stress concentration are revealed through birefringence and loss measurements. Another kind of laser-induced stress appears in the form of swelling of the glass surface when waveguides are written near the surface and is a manifestation of confined rapid material quenching. By annealing the sample we reduce the losses by (at 633 nm) and decrease the birefringence by a factor of 4 in fused silica.
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