Advances in femtosecond micromachining and inscription of micro and nano photonic devices

  • Graham Smith

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis has focused on three key areas of interest for femtosecond micromachining and inscription.
    The first area is micromachining where the work has focused on the ability to process highly repeatable, high precision machining with often extremely complex geometrical structures with little or no damage. High aspect ratio features have been demonstrated in transparent materials, metals and ceramics. Etch depth control was demonstrated especially in the work on phase mask fabrication. Practical chemical sensing and microfluidic devices were also fabricated to demonstrate the capability of the techniques developed during this work.
    The second area is femtosecond inscription. Here, the work has utilised the non-linear absorption mechanisms associated with femtosecond pulse-material interactions to create highly localised refractive index changes in transparent materials to create complex 3D structures. The techniques employed were then utilised in the fabrication of Phase masks and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) phantom calibration artefacts both of which show the potential to fill voids in the development of the fields. This especially the case for the OCT phantoms where there exists no previous artefacts of known shape, allowing for the initial specification of parameters associated with the quality of OCT machines that are being taken up across the world in industry and research.
    Finally the third area of focus was the combination of all of the techniques developed through work in planar samples to create a range of artefacts in optical fibres. The development of techniques and methods for compensating for the geometrical complexities associated with working with the cylindrical samples with varying refractive indices allowed for fundamental inscription parameters to be examined, structures for use as power monitors and polarisers with the optical fibres and finally the combination of femtosecond inscription and ablation techniques to create a magnetic field sensor with an optical fibre coated in Terfenol-D with directional capability.
    Through the development of understanding, practical techniques and equipment the work presented here demonstrates several novel pieces of research in the field of femtosecond micromachining and inscription that has provided a broad range of related fields with practical devices that were previously unavailable or that would take great cost and time to facilitate.
    Date of AwardOct 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKate Sugden (Supervisor) & Ian Bennion (Supervisor)


    • femtosecond micromachining
    • micro photonic devices
    • nano photonic devices

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