Laser micro-structuring of fused silica subsequent to plasma-induced silicon suboxide generation and hydrogen implantation
A low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasma jet was used for chemical reduction of fused silica. For this purpose, a hydrogen-containing plasma was applied. A silicon suboxide layer was generated and hydrogen was implanted into the bulk material. Changes in stoichiometry, concentration of hydrogen and optical transmission were determined. An ArF excimer laser was used for the ablation of untreated and plasma-treated fused silica. The ablation threshold was significantly decreased by a factor of 4.6 in case of plasma treated substrates. Furthermore, in multi-pulse experiments, the ablation rate remained constant at least up to a depth of 10.5 µm.