Laser-driven chemical reaction for etching LiNbO3

Ashby, C. I. H.; Brannon, P. J.
August 1986
Applied Physics Letters;8/25/1986, Vol. 49 Issue 8, p475
Academic Journal
The first laser-driven chemical reaction for etching ionic solids based on the fusion of salts in the molten phase is reported here for the reaction of LiNbO3 with KF. The process involves spatially localized melting of LiNbO3 by high-power-density laser pulses with photon energies in excess of the band gap of LiNbO3. While molten, LiNbO3 undergoes reaction with KF to form niobium oxyfluoride anions by fusion of the salts. The resulting solid is highly water soluble. The insolubility of LiNbO3 permits subsequent removal of only the irradiated area by rinsing in water. This laser-driven chemical etching process shows great potential for applications which require either smooth surface morphology or very rapid etching rates.


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