3D diffractive elements through fs-laser direct writing

Direct laser writing using ultra-short pulsed lasers is an increasingly used technology for the generation of embedded photonic structures such as waveguides or holographic data storage. One underlying fundamental process is the controlled refractive index change of transparent dielectrics by laser irradiation.

In a collaboration with the Institute of Photonic technologies at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Prof. Michael Schmidt), we are investigating novel ways of generating aperiodic microstructures such as 3D computer-generated holograms. The focus of the team in Erlangen lies on the fabrication processes while the team in Innsbruck concentrates on element design and optical characterization using diffraction tomography.

Figure 1 widefield images of continuous (top) and segmented fs-laser written waveguides inside fused silica.

We are currently hiring a master’s student on this project. If you would like to learn more or apply for the position, please email Assoc. Prof. Alexander Jesacher at to arrange a meeting.


Researchers on this project at our institute:

-) Nicolas Barré, PhD (postdoc)
-) Alexander Jesacher, PhD (PI)


“3D diffractive elements through fs-laser direct writing” FWF I 3984,  2020 – 2023.


  • Michael Schmidt, LPT, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, D
  • Martin Booth, Dept. of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, UK


[1] Martin Bawart, Molly A. May, Thomas Öttl, Clemens Roider, Stefan Bernet, Michael Schmidt, Monika Ritsch-Marte, and Alexander Jesacher, "Diffractive tunable lens for remote focusing in high-NA optical systems," Opt. Express 28, 26336-26347 (2020)

[2] Barré N., R. Shivaraman, L. Ackermann, S. Moser, M. Schmidt, P. Salter, M. Booth and A. Jesacher: Tomographic refractive index profiling of direct laser written waveguides. Optics Express 29, 22, 35414-35425, 2021,

[3] Barré N. and A. Jesacher: Holographic beam shaping of partially coherent light. Optics Letters 47, 2, 425-428 (2022),