Time-resolved microscopy of fs-laser-induced heat flows in glasses
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Time-resolved phase-contrast microscopy is employed to visualize spatio-temporal thermal transients induced by tight focusing of a single Ti:sapphire fs-laser pulse into a solid dielectric sample. This method relies on the coupling of the refractive index change and the sample temperature through the thermo-optic coefficient dn/dT. The thermal transients are studied on a timescale ranging from 10 ns up to 0.1 ms after laser excitation. Beyond providing direct insights into the laser–matter interaction, analyzing the results obtained also enables quantifying the local thermal diffusivity of the sample on a micrometer scale. Studies conducted in different solid dielectrics, namely amorphous fused silica (a-SiO2), a commercial borosilicate glass (BO33, Schott), and a custom alkaline earth silicate glass (NaSi66), illustrate the applicability of this approach to the investigation of various glassy materials.
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the German Research Foundation DFG (Grants Nos. EB 248/4-2; EI 110/30-2; RO 2074/8-2; ME 4427/1-1).
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