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NANOVEC - Research project

3D nanostructuring of optical materials using automated vector laser beams

PhD student: Thirunaukkarasu KUPPAN, ED SIS 488 (Science, Engineering, Health)


Precise multifunctional material engineering with functional design responding to key future challenges in the field of optics, mechanics, energy and environment relies nowadays on critical developments of advanced photonics and intelligent system engineering, namely reconfigurable laser processing tools capable to adapt to shape and matter. A particularly solution with potential in photonics and information technology targets the smart design of 3D morphologies of optical materials at the nanoscale linking pattern, scale, and function, using automated programmable ultrafast laser processing approaches and learning feedback-assisted loops. Using ultrafast laser engineered beam with programmable dispersion and electric field enables unprecedented potential to confine energy beyond optical limits laying the ground base of super-resolved processing. Processes of matter-self-organization under light can be triggered and guided towards the definition of new pattern geometries with scale features and periodicities bellow 100nm, a cornerstone in advanced laser processing.
Objective & methodology
The project proposes an integrated chain of developments coupling in-situ extraction of quantitative information using diffractive methods and its use in real time to guide the laser process towards a processing performance beyond the state of the art. It specifically (1) proposes the development of an automated learning loop that quantifies in-situ the structuring process via UV-diffraction based rapid monitoring and (2) determines the reconfiguration of the laser beam in the vectorial space by manipulating the spatial and spectral phase using programmable light modulators. A learning algorithm will be then used to predict optimized conditions for the generation of nanoscale patterns in the volume of optical materials. Applications are foreseen in the definition of birefringence functions via anisotropic index engineering and high-density data storage in long-life materials.