Abstract

We investigated the influence of silver ions during the direct femtosecond laser-induced formation of nanogratings (NGs) at the surface of a tailored sodium gallophosphate glass. We observed that the silver ions had a remarkable influence because the silver-containing glass showed (1) lower fluence thresholds for the formation of the NGs; (2) much smoother NG shapes; and (3) a bifunctional behavior because fluorescence from laser-induced silver clusters occurs prior to the formation of the NGs. We demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the formation of NGs assisted by noble metal ions, such as ions playing a kind of catalytic-like role that enhances and improves the NG formation and its incubation process. Our innovative approach provides promising potential for further improvements in processes for NG formation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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