With the proper choice of laser parameters focused femtosecond laser light creates long-range self-assembled planar nanocracks inside and on the surface of fused silica glass. The orientation of the crack planes is normal to the laser polarization direction and can be precisely controlled. The arrays of cracks when properly oriented and combined with chemical etching produce high aspect ratio micro- and nanofluidic channels. Direct femtosecond laser writing without any chemical etching can be used to fabricate embedded nanoporous capillaries in bulk fused silica for biofiltering and electrophoresis applications. The morphology of the porous structures critically depends on the laser polarization and pulse energy and can be used to control the transmission rates of fluids through the capillaries. Finally high aspect ratio, polarization-dependent, self-ordered periodic nanoslots can be fabricated from nanocracks produced on the surface of fused silica wafers. Control of the surface slot width from 10 to 60 nm is achieved through selective chemical etching. This technique, which may be useful for Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) applications, has sub-diffraction limited resolution and features high throughput writing over centimeters.
Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics VI, 64581B (2007).