Laser Ablation of Materials with Ultrashort-Pulse Laser Structuring

For both scientific research and for industrial applications, laser material processing is of great interest. Two of the key benefits of using lasers as a manufacturing tool are the high speed at which it is possible to move a laser beam and in contrast to mechanical tools, laser light is not subject to wear and tear.

Other than the wavelength, the laser source’s pulse duration is the key parameter influencing the laser material coupling nature. State-of-the-art laser systems feature pulse durations down to a few femto seconds. The high peak intensities offered by ultrashort pulses initiate multiphoton absorption mechanisms, bridging a larger band gap than the photon energy.

Hence by applying ultrashort pulses the ablation of virtually any material is possible by multiphoton absorption. The non-thermal nature of ultrashort pulsed ablation together with the ultrafast mechanism offers well-defined ablation threshold fluences and enables laser structuring with high precision.

Surface Structuring of AlO2 Ceramics

Figures 1 and 2 show surface structuring of AlO2 ceramics

Figure 1
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Ceramic Al2O3 Spirit® λ = 1040 nm

Figure 2. Lasercut Al2O3 ceramics with goldcoating on the top surface

Surface Structuring and Cutting of Dielectrics and Semiconductors

Figures 3 and 4 show laser ablation in surface structuring and cutting of semiconductors and dielectrics.

Figure 3
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Borosilicate glass Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Picture 4
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
3C-SiC Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Cutting and Structuring of Polymers (Sensors and Microfluidic Devices)

Figures 5 and 6 show laser ablation in cutting and structuring of polymers.

Figure 5
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Polymersensor Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Figure 6
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
SU-8 on glass Spirit λ = 520 nm

Thin Film Ablation (for Automotive Sensor)

Figures 7 and 8 show laser ablation for thin film ablation.

Figure 7
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Silver on ceramics Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Figure 8
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Au/Ag on ceramics Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Cutting and Drilling of Metals

Figures 9 and 10 show laser ablation for cutting and drilling of materials.

Figure 9
MATERIAL LASER τ = 350 fs
Amorphous metal Spirit λ = 1040 nm

Figure 10
MATERIAL LASER τ = 12 ps
Steel Spirit ps λ = 1062 nm

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Spectra-Physics.

For more information on this source, please visit Spectra-Physics.

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