Inscribing diffraction gratings in bulk silicon with nanosecond laser pulses
Diffraction gratings are transversally inscribed in the bulk of monolithic crystalline silicon with infrared nanosecond laser pulses. Nanoscale material analyses of the modifications composing the gratings show that they rely on laser-induced stress associated with a positive refractive index change as confirmed with phase-shift interferometry. Characterizations of the optical properties of the gratings, including the diffraction angles and the efficiency of the different orders, are carried out. The refractive index change obtained from these measurements is in good agreement with the phase-shift measurements. Finally, we show that the grating diffraction efficiency depends strongly on the laser writing speed.