Laser processing of insulators and semiconductors is usually realized using photon energies exceeding the band-gap energy. This makes laser processing of insulators difficult since high photon energies typically require either a pulsed laser or a frequency-doubled continuous-wave laser. A new method is reported which enables us to do laser processing of lithium niobate using sub-band-gap photons. Using high scan speeds, moderate power densities, and sub-band-gap photon energies results in volume removal rates in excess of 106µm3/s. This enables fast micromachining of small piezoelectric structures, or simple etching of grooves for precision positioning of optical fibers. ©1995 American Institute of Physics.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (1995) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics