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Characterization and inhibition of photorefractive optical damage of swift heavy ion irradiation waveguides in LiNbO3

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Abstract

The photorefractive effect and the corresponding optical damage thresholds of novel LiNbO3 waveguides fabricated by swift ion irradiation have been investigated. TE- and TM-mode operation have been characterized, and the influence of the beam propagation length analyzed. Optical damage levels similar to those of proton-exchanged waveguides have been found. In order to reduce optical damage, the influence of temperature has been investigated. An increase of more than a factor of 100 in the optical damage threshold has been obtained by moderate heating up to 90°C. The results are briefly discussed under the two-center model for the photorefractive effect in undoped LiNbO3, and compared with data from other types of LiNbO3 waveguides.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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