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Proceedings Paper

Optofluidic waveguides written in hydrophobic silica aerogels with a femtosecond laser
Author(s): B. Yalizay; Y. Morova; Y. Ozbakir; A. Jonas; C. Erkey; A. Kiraz; S. Akturk
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Paper Abstract

We present a new method to form liquid-core optofluidic waveguides inside hydrophobic silica aerogels. Due to their unique material properties, aerogels are very attractive for a wide variety of applications; however, it is very challenging to process them with traditional methods such as milling, drilling, or cutting because of their fragile structure. Therefore, there is a need to develop alternative processes for formation of complex structures within the aerogels without damaging the material. In our study, we used focused femtosecond laser pulses for high-precision ablation of hydrophobic silica aerogels. During the ablation, we directed the laser beam with a galvo-mirror system and, subsequently, focused the beam through a scanning lens on the surface of bulk aerogel which was placed on a three-axis translation stage. We succeeded in obtaining high-quality linear microchannels inside aerogel monoliths by synchronizing the motion of the galvo-mirror scanner and the translation stage. Upon ablation, we created multimode liquid-core optical waveguides by filling the empty channels inside low-refractive index aerogel blocks with highrefractive index ethylene glycol. In order to demonstrate light guiding and measure optical attenuation of these waveguides, we coupled light into the waveguides with an optical fiber and measured the intensity of transmitted light as a function of the propagation distance inside the channel. The measured propagation losses of 9.9 dB/cm demonstrate the potential of aerogel-based waveguides for efficient routing of light in optofluidic lightwave circuits.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 February 2015
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9365, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XIX, 936518 (27 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2077132
Show Author Affiliations
B. Yalizay, Istanbul Technical Univ. (Turkey)
Y. Morova, Istanbul Technical Univ. (Turkey)
Y. Ozbakir, Koç Univ. (Turkey)
A. Jonas, Istanbul Technical Univ. (Turkey)
C. Erkey, Koç Univ. (Turkey)
A. Kiraz, Koç Univ. (Turkey)
S. Akturk, Istanbul Technical Univ. (Turkey)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9365:
Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XIX
Jean-Emmanuel Broquin; Gualtiero Nunzi Conti, Editor(s)

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