Ophthalmic hydrogel polymers are micromachined with near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses. Refractive index changes up to + 0.05 have been obtained, and lateral gradient index refractive structures are written into the flat polymers. By measuring the transmitted wavefront of the micromachined polymer, we find induced astigmatism as high as 0.8 diopters in the micromachined region.
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