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The "quill effect" describes a directional phenomenon encountered during ultrafast laser fabrication. Even in homogeneous and isotropic materials, fabrication effects can depend on the direction of focus translation. The directionality has been attributed to pulse front tilt, leading to a spatiotemporal asymmetry in the focus. We use adaptive optics to control pulse front tilt and demonstrate controllable quill effect writing in fused silica using a femtosecond laser. Through adaptive control of the intensity profile, we also confirm that inhomogeneous pupil illumination causes similar directional effects. We show dynamic control of ultrashort pulses and directional effects during fabrication. © 2013 Copyright SPIE.

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