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Laser micro-fabrication of concave, low-roughness features in silica
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We describe a micro-fabrication method to create concave features with ultra-low roughness in silica, either on optical fibers or on flat substrates. The machining uses a single CO2 laser pulse train. Parameters are chosen such that evaporation removes material while a low-viscosity melt layer produces excellent surface quality. A surface roughness σ ∼ 0.2 nm is regularly obtained. The concave depressions are near-spherical close to the center with radii of curvature between 20 and 2000 μm. The method allows fabrication of low-scatter micro-optical devices such as mirror substrates for high-finesse cavities or negative lenses on fiber tips, extending the range of micro-optical components.
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