Abstract

In this study, we report on the erasure and rewriting of nanogratings by femtosecond laser pulses in the bulk of fused silica. To map the structural processes during rewriting, a combination of optical retardance measurement, small angle X-ray scattering, and scanning electron microscopy was used. The results reveal that already few pulses lead to erasure and formation of anisotropic structures. Repetitive rewriting favors the formation of nanoscopic pores, which increases the optical retardance of nanogratings for large pulse numbers.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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