Laser Writing of Channel Waveguides into Sol-Gel Alumina Films -or- Liquids, Lasers, and Luminescence
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If a method can be found to heat-treat arbitrary, narrow areas of a sol-gel derived alumina thin film, it will allow the creation of density gradients in the film. In such transparent alumina films, a density gradient would correlate with an increase in the index of refraction, yielding channel waveguides. Channel waveguides in alumina thin films have prospective applications in chemical sensing and optical computing. We developed a system to ‘write’ channels into thin films using an infrared laser, created samples of sol-gel alumina and treated them in our system, and studied the results using near-field optical spectroscopy. We find that thin films of alumina are very sensitive to the sol-gel recipe used, that the process of densifying alumina solids is sensitive to a large number of parameters including laser power and exposure time, and that the laser-imparted heat dissipates extremely swiftly within our samples.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2007
- F&M Theses Collection