Introduction to Waveguides
Only ultrafast lasers are capable of producing this effect in transparent materials. With longer pulse lasers (nanoseconds), the sample damages before the intensity reaches the threshold at which guides are formed. The picture below shows the output of a waveguide made in glass on a far-field screen using a HeNe laser. The waveguide can be made either single mode or multimode.
The image below is an artist's rendering of the waveguide concepts described above.
Note: Color was added to the waveguide for illustrative purposes only. In reality, scattering losses are extremely low and the beam is NOT visible while propagating inside the waveguide.
Photo Gallery: Explore the possibilities of using ultrafast lasers to manufacture 3D features in the bulk of transparent materials.
All the images below show samples of linear and 3D features that were written in our micromachining job shop using the Clark-MXR, Inc. femtosecond direct write source.
Note: All images were taken with a digital camera and have not been re-touched.