O. Bernard and Y. Bellouard, "On the use of a digital twin to enhance femtosecond laser inscription of arbitrary phase patterns," J. Phys. Photonics 3, 035003 (2021).
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Thanks to the non-linear nature of laser-matter interaction, the use of femtosecond lasers offers a versatile method for encoding information and modifying transparent materials in their volumes and this, with sub-micron resolution. The underlying physical process is a succession of intricate and complex nonlinear phenomena that are sensitive to multiple and multidimensional parameters, such as beam intensity distribution, exposure dose homogeneity and pulse-overlapping sequences as well as propagating wavefront angular orientations and temporal distortions. As a consequence to this inherent and often overwhelming complexity, obtaining a repeatable and accurate result relies strongly on time-consuming machine-specific calibration and experiment-specific fine-tuning attempts until the desired result is reached. Here, we present a digital twin of the processed specimen that not only accurately predicts the exposure outcome in terms of introduced retardance, but also offers a pathway for designing feedforward schemes that compensate for known inaccuracies. We demonstrate the merit of this approach through illustrative examples of arbitrary phase patterns, forming waveplates and images, based on refractive index modulation induced during laser exposure. (Download / PDF)