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GALATEA Report Summary

Project ID: 307442
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Switzerland

Final Report Summary - GALATEA (Tailoring Material Properties Using Femtosecond Lasers: A New Paradigm for Highly Integrated Micro-/Nano- Scale Systems)

The Galatea project aimed at locally tailoring glass properties using femtosecond lasers. More specifically, the goal was to introduce polymorphic phases and structural modifications into fused silica and to investigate their properties and applications into novel integrated functional monolithic micro-devices.

The outcome of the project is a thorough study of femtosecond laser exposure of fused silica under various exposure conditions, resulting in demonstrations of novel micro-devices concepts. More specifically, we have shown that these modifications lead to controlled stress-state in the material, offering a new method not only for producing new micro-devices - such tunable resonators, wave plates or actuators; but also novel means to investigate glass fracture mechanics at the small scale. Noticeably, unprecedented stress loading level in glass with non-trivial shape has been achieved and demonstrations of non-contact laser manipulation of optical element obtained. Finally, it was shown that femtosecond laser exposure can lead to the generation of nanoparticles of silica exhibiting unexpected local field enhancement effects (so called SERS), particularly useful for new sensors applications.

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