Rivera de Mena, Antonio and Prada, A. and Peña Rodriguez, Ovidio Y. and Manzano-Santamaría, J. and Crespillo Almenara, Miguel and Olivares, J. and Agullo Lopez, Fernando
Tailoring the Optical Properties of Silica Irradiated with Swift Heavy Ions.
In: "2012 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit", 25/11/2012 - 30/11/2012, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 1-7.
Irradiation with swift heavy ions (SHI), roughly defined as those having atomic masses larger than 15 and energies exceeding 1 MeV/amu, may lead to significant modification of the irradiated material in a nanometric region around the (straight) ion trajectory (i.e., latent tracks). In the case of amorphous silica it has been reported that SHI irradiation originates nano-tracks of either higher density than the virgin material (for low electronic stopping powers, Se < 7 keV/nm)  or having a low-density core and a dense shell (Se > 12 keV/nm) . The intermediate region has not been studied in detail but we will show in this work that essentially no changes in density occur in this zone. An interesting effect of the compaction is that the refractive index is increased with respect to that of the surroundings. In the first Se region it is clear that track overlapping leads to continuous amorphous layers that present a significant contrast with respect to the pristine substrate and this has been used to produce optical waveguides. The optical effects of intermediate and high stopping powers, on the other hand, are largely unknown so far. In this work we have studied theoretically (molecular dynamics and optical simulations) and experimentally (irradiation with SHI and optical characterization) the dependence of the macroscopic optical properties (i.e., the refractive index of the effective medium, n_EMA) on the electronic stopping power of the incoming ions. Our results show that the refractive index of the irradiated silica is not increased in the intermediate region, as expected; however, the core-shell tracks of the high-Se region produce a quite effective enhancement of n_EMA that could prove attractive for the fabrication of optical waveguides at ultralow fluences (as low as 1E11 cm^-2). 1. J. Manzano, J. Olivares, F. Agulló-López, M. L. Crespillo, A. Moroño, and E. Hodgson, "Optical waveguides obtained by swift-ion irradiation on silica (a-SiO2)," Nucl. Instrum. Meth. B 268, 3147-3150 (2010). 2. P. Kluth, C. S. Schnohr, O. H. Pakarinen, F. Djurabekova, D. J. Sprouster, R. Giulian, M. C. Ridgway, A. P. Byrne, C. Trautmann, D. J. Cookson, K. Nordlund, and M. Toulemonde, "Fine structure in swift heavy ion tracks in amorphous SiO2," Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 175503 (2008).