Journal article

Tailored surface birefringence by femtosecond laser assisted wet etching

Surface texturing is demonstrated by the combination of wet etching and ultrafast laser nanostructuring of silica glass. Using potassium hydroxide (KOH) at room temperature as an etchant of laser modified glass, we show the polarization dependent linear increase in retardance reaching a threefold value within 25 hours. The dispersion control of birefringence by the etching procedure led to achromatic behaviour over the entire visible spectral range. The mechanism of enhanced KOH etching selectivity after femtosecond laser exposure is discussed and correlated to the formation of various laser-induced defects, such as silicon-rich oxygen deficiency and color centers.


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