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Design, simulation, and fabrication of three-dimensional microsystem components using grayscale photolithography

Summary

Grayscale lithography is a widely known but underutilized microfabrication technique for creating three-dimensional (3-D) microstructures in photoresist. One of the hurdles for its widespread use is that developing the grayscale photolithography masks can be time-consuming and costly since it often requires an iterative process, especially for complex geometries. We discuss the use of PROLITH, a lithography simulation tool, to predict 3-D photoresist profiles from grayscale mask designs. Several examples of optical microsystems and microelectromechanical systems where PROLITH was used to validate the mask design prior to implementation in the microfabrication process are presented. In all examples, PROLITH was able to accurately and quantitatively predict resist profiles, which reduced both design time and the number of trial photomasks, effectively reducing the cost of component fabrication.
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Summary

Grayscale lithography is a widely known but underutilized microfabrication technique for creating three-dimensional (3-D) microstructures in photoresist. One of the hurdles for its widespread use is that developing the grayscale photolithography masks can be time-consuming and costly since it often requires an iterative process, especially for complex geometries. We discuss...

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Highly Efficient All-Optical Beam Modulation Utilizing Thermo-optic Effects

Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane. On-axis modulation of greater than 30 dB is achieved at incident beam intensities as low as 100 W/cm2 with response times under 200 μs, at initial solution transparency above 70%. No evidence of laser-induced degradation is observed for the highest intensities used. Numerical modeling of experimental data reveals thermo-optic coefficients of up to −1.3 × 10−3 /K, which, to our knowledge, is the highest observed to date in such nanoparticle suspensions.
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Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane...

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Photonic lantern kW-class fiber amplifier

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 22, 30 October 2017, pp. 27543-27550.

Summary

Pump-limited kW-class operation in a multimode fiber amplifier using adaptive mode control and a photonic lantern front end was achieved. An array of three single-mode fiber inputs was used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a three-mode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the output. Mode fluctuations at high power were compensated by adjusting the relative phase, amplitude, and polarization of the single-mode fiber inputs. The outlook for further power scaling and adaptive-optic compensation is described.
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Summary

Pump-limited kW-class operation in a multimode fiber amplifier using adaptive mode control and a photonic lantern front end was achieved. An array of three single-mode fiber inputs was used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a three-mode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the...

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Efficient cryogenic near-infrared Tm:YLF laser

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 12, 12 June 2017, 13408.

Summary

Operation of a cw thulium laser emitting at 816 nm has been demonstrated in bulk Tm:YLF with 46% slope efficiency. Prior cw demonstrations of this transition have been limited to ZBLAN fiber hosts and prior lasing in bulk crystalline host material has been limited to quasi-cw operation due to population trapping. Trapping at the 3F4 level was mitigated by co-lasing at 1876 nm. The co-lasing technique should be applicable to room-temperature operation and to power scaling of YLF and other crystal hosts.
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Summary

Operation of a cw thulium laser emitting at 816 nm has been demonstrated in bulk Tm:YLF with 46% slope efficiency. Prior cw demonstrations of this transition have been limited to ZBLAN fiber hosts and prior lasing in bulk crystalline host material has been limited to quasi-cw operation due to population...

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Fluidic microoptics with adjustable focusing and beam steering for single cell optogenetics

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 14, 10 July 2017, pp. 16825-16839.

Summary

Electrically controlled micron-scale liquid lenses have been designed, fabricated and demonstrated, that provide both adjustable focusing and beam steering, with the goal of applying them to optogenetic in vivo mapping of brain activity with single cell resolution. The liquid lens is formed by the interface between two immiscible liquids which are contained in a conically tapered lens cavity etched into a fused silica substrate. Interdigitated electrodes have been patterned along the sidewall of the taper to control the liquid lens curvature and tilt. Microlenses with apertures ranging in size from 30 to 80 μm were fabricated and tunable focusing ranging from 0.25 to 3 mm and beam steering of ± 1 degree have been demonstrated.
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Summary

Electrically controlled micron-scale liquid lenses have been designed, fabricated and demonstrated, that provide both adjustable focusing and beam steering, with the goal of applying them to optogenetic in vivo mapping of brain activity with single cell resolution. The liquid lens is formed by the interface between two immiscible liquids which...

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Broadband transparent optical phase change materials

Summary

We report a new group of optical phase change materials Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST) with low loss from telecom bands to LWIR. We further demonstrated GSST-integratedSiN photonics with significantly improved switching performance over conventional GST alloys.
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Summary

We report a new group of optical phase change materials Ge-Sb-Se-Te (GSST) with low loss from telecom bands to LWIR. We further demonstrated GSST-integratedSiN photonics with significantly improved switching performance over conventional GST alloys.

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High-efficiency large-angle Pancharatnam phase deflector based on dual-twist design

Summary

We have previously shown through simulation that an optical beam deflector based on the Pancharatnam (geometric) phase can provide high efficiency with up to 80° deflection using a dual-twist structure for polarization-state control [Appl. Opt. 54, 10035 (2015)]. In this report, we demonstrate that its optical performance is as predicted and far beyond what could be expected for a conventional diffractive optical device. We provide details about construction and characterization of a ± 40° beam-steering device with 90% diffraction efficiency based on our dual-twist design at a 633nm wavelength.
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Summary

We have previously shown through simulation that an optical beam deflector based on the Pancharatnam (geometric) phase can provide high efficiency with up to 80° deflection using a dual-twist structure for polarization-state control [Appl. Opt. 54, 10035 (2015)]. In this report, we demonstrate that its optical performance is as predicted...

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Picosecond kilohertz-class cryogenically cooled multistage Yb-doped chirped pulse amplifier

Published in:
Opt. Lett., Vol. 42, No. 4, 15 February 2017, pp. 707-710.

Summary

A multistage cryogenic chirped pulse amplifier has been developed, utilizing two different Yb-doped gain materials in subsequent amplifier stages. A Yb:GSAG regenerative amplifier followed by a Yb:YAG power amplifier is able to deliver pulses with a broader bandwidth than a system using only one of these two gain media throughout. We demonstrate 90 mJ of pulse energy (113 W of average power) uncompressed and 67 mJ (84 W of average power) compressed at 1.25 kHz pulse repetition frequency, 3.0 ps FWHM Gaussian pulse width, and near-diffraction-limited (M^2 < 1.3) beam quality.
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Summary

A multistage cryogenic chirped pulse amplifier has been developed, utilizing two different Yb-doped gain materials in subsequent amplifier stages. A Yb:GSAG regenerative amplifier followed by a Yb:YAG power amplifier is able to deliver pulses with a broader bandwidth than a system using only one of these two gain media throughout...

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Spatially-resolved individual particle spectroscopy using photothermal modulation of Mie scattering

Summary

We report a photothermal modulation of Mie scattering (PMMS) method that enables concurrent spatial and spectral discrimination of individual micron-sized particles. This approach provides a direct measurement of the "fingerprint" infrared absorption spectrum with the spatial resolution of visible light. Trace quantities (tens of picograms) of material were deposited onto an infrared transparent substrate and simultaneously illuminated by a wavelength-tunable intensity-modulated quantum cascade pump laser and a continuous-wave 532 nm probe laser. Absorption of the pump laser by the particles results in direct modulation of the scatter field of the probe laser. The probe light scattered from the interrogated region is imaged onto a visible camera, enabling simultaneous probing of spatially-separated individual particles. By tuning the wavelength of the pump laser, the IR absorption spectrum is obtained. Using this approach, we measured the infrared absorption spectra of individual 3 um PMMA and silica spheres. Experimental PMMS signal amplitudes agree with modeling using an extended version of the Mie scattering theory for particles on substrates, enabling the prediction of the PMMS signal magnitude based on the material and substrate properties.
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Summary

We report a photothermal modulation of Mie scattering (PMMS) method that enables concurrent spatial and spectral discrimination of individual micron-sized particles. This approach provides a direct measurement of the "fingerprint" infrared absorption spectrum with the spatial resolution of visible light. Trace quantities (tens of picograms) of material were deposited onto...

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Electrically switchable diffractive waveplates with metasurface aligned liquid crystals

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 24, No. 21, 17 October 2016, 24265-24273.

Summary

Diffractive waveplates and equivalent metasurfaces provide a promising path for applications in thin film beam steering, tunable lenses, and polarization filters. However, fixed metasurfaces alone are unable to be tuned electronically. By combining metasurfaces with tunable liquid crystals, we experimentally demonstrate a single layer device capable of electrically switching a diffractive waveplate design at a measured peak diffraction efficiency of 35%, and a minimum switching voltage of 10V. Furthermore, the nano-scale metasurface aligned liquid crystals are largely independent of variations in wavelength and temperature. We also present a computational analysis of the efficiency limits of liquid crystal based diffractive waveplates, and compare this analysis to experimental measurements.
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Summary

Diffractive waveplates and equivalent metasurfaces provide a promising path for applications in thin film beam steering, tunable lenses, and polarization filters. However, fixed metasurfaces alone are unable to be tuned electronically. By combining metasurfaces with tunable liquid crystals, we experimentally demonstrate a single layer device capable of electrically switching a...

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