Abstract

Transmission Mueller-matrix spectroscopic ellipsometry is applied to femtosecond laser-induced modifications in silica glass in the spectral range of 450–1000 nm. Within a type II regime, the modifications exhibit not only circular dichroism, but also circular birefringence. We suggest that the laser polarization orientation with respect to pulse front tilt determines the amplitude and the sign of the circular properties. By using differential decomposition of the Mueller matrix, optical rotation is revealed for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. A maximum value of the effective optical activity of 143°/mm at 550 nm is found.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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