I have worked past 10 years of my career on the development of direct fs laser micro-fabrication technologies in transparent dielectrics - glasses, fibres, crystals.
So what is for sale?
I want to carry on my research in this direction, offering in return to bring this technology to your place. I believe the refractive index contrasts of , which was achieved only recently, are not yet the end of the story. I had a first look through 'open door' on largely unexplored area, called 'physics of non-equilibrium material states and phase transitions'.
When I say 'technology', I do mean to build from scratch (assuming the budget is available) a complete technological chain of labs, including: A) fs-laser inscription lab with all necessary diagnostics equipment; B) characterisation lab for measurements of the induced RI contrasts (I do this since 2003); C) sample processing lab (for annealing, lapping, cutting, polishing etc.); and finally, D) device characterisation ;
What is special about this technology? Firstly, this is the manufacturing cost – it is less than 1 cent per second (all included). Secondly, the productivity: for example a 1:256 beam-splitter can be fabricated in about 15 minutes - thus you can estimate a manufacturing cost (answer: 9 GBP). Now try to imagine making such a device by a fibre-splicer approach, using a number of y-couplers off the shelf.
As for the specific applications, I want to pursue in near future, this is integrated optics in LiNbO3 (sometimes this crystal is called "Silicon of integrated optics"). LiNbO3 offers a variety of mid-IR passive circuits, sources (both classic and yet unbeatable quantum ones), broadband parametric amplifiers - from NIR to midIR (including, I would expect, very stable frequency combs - plenty of ), all-optical processors, telecom signal regenerators, Tbit/sec modulators (yes, we could talk about this, however crazy it sounds), single-photon, ultra-fast, mid-IR (and THZ!) detectors and many more.