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Spectral broadening in femtosecond laser written waveguides in chalcogenide glass

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Abstract

Nonlinear spectral broadening to 200nm, from an initial width of 50nm, has been demonstrated in gallium lanthanum sulphide glass waveguides from 1540nm, 200fs pulses at 30nJ/pulse. A formation mechanism is presented for these femtosecond laser written waveguides, based on optical characterization and comparisons to previous work. Two different types of waveguide are identified. One has a characteristic long narrow structure and is formed through filamentation caused by self-focusing. The other has a characteristic “teardrop” structure, which is formed by a type IIA photosensitivity mechanism and cumulative heating of glass around a central laser-exposed region.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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