We report on non-lithographic laser direct writing fabrication of optical waveguides by using a 4′-hydroxy-4-nitroazobene dye-functionalized polymer film. The polymer film reveals permanent change of refractive index at high laser illumination intensity. A focused continuous wave low power green laser beam at 532 nm wavelength is used to directly write waveguide structures on the polymer film. The magnitude of refractive index increase at film surface is about 0.006. One-step laser writing results in graded index waveguides in film depth direction under ambient conditions without pre- and post-processing. As a by-product, the laser writing also results in a very small air valley at the boundary between the laser written and non-written regions which may contribute in part although minimal to the waveguide lateral confinement and can be used for visual observation of waveguide patterns. The fabricated waveguide is found to be stable and easily reproducible.
- Non-lithographic fabrication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics