Laser Technology in Focus Again at HANNOVER MESSE 2009

New trends in miniaturized components and systems - high technologies from Japan and Korea and energy applications at the IVAM Product Market

Silicon wafer with vacuum-encapsulated micro mirror scanners. Source: Fraunhofer ISIT, Itzehoe.

New trends and applications from various high-tech areas will be presented again this year by the exhibitors of the Product Market "Micro, Nano & Materials" at MicroTechnology/HANNOVER MESSE from April 20 to 24, 2009 in Hanover, Germany. Organizer of the joint pavilion is IVAM Microtechnology Network. The exhibitor number already approaches the past year’s record level. In April 2008, 73 companies and institutes presented themselves on 1,000 square meters.

After the successful premier of the special show "Lasers for Micromachining and Microproduction" in 2008, laser technology will be in focus again at HANNOVER MESSE 2009. Additionally, IVAM will exhibit new subjects. The topic micro- and nanostructure technology will be presented for the first time under the roof of a Surface Pavilion. Also energy applications, among them the so-called micro energy harvesting for process and systems engineering, will be highlighted.

Korea, which is partner country of HANNOVER MESSE 2009, will be represented at the IVAM booth as well as Japanese companies and research institutions. Like in the previous years, IVAM again organizes the forum "Innovations for Industry", whose single sessions will be dedicated to the different main subjects of the IVAM Product Market. The latter will include numerous product highlights, which are introduced in the following.

High-speed laser technology

Economic production processes require flexible laser tools with optimized beam geometry and intensity distribution. These beam properties are used for example during the cutting and welding of very small components. For this, so far, pulsed laser systems were mostly utilized. For many applications, however, a high peak-power per pulse is not necessary; the more so as this “erratic” welding procedure for example creates weld spatters. The new generation of high-power diode lasers of LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH works unpulsed and therefore avoids this unintended side effect. With small spot sizes, very high intensities are achieved which allow high welding speeds in cw mode. Besides, the surface of the seams can often not be distinguished from the surface quality of the material.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT presents recent developments for high-precision laser manufacturing using new generations of laser sources. With ultra-fast pulsed lasers, micro injection molding tools can be manufactured with geometries in the micrometer range and sub-micron accuracies in conventional tool steels. This technology has been proven for rapid tooling in mass production of microfluidic and LED light guiding components. For the manufacturing of precision metallic components a new fiber laser based cutting technology is presented, which is able is cut complex parts within fractions of seconds, allowing a cost-effective production of small- and medium-sized lot sizes with a minimum of time to market.

Lenses for laser material processing and high volume imprint equipment

JENOPTIK presents new developments of the JENar product family for laser material processing. In addition to proven products the company offers new variable 1x-4x beam expanders with quartz lenses as well as F-Theta JENar lenses for large scan field diameters of 170 mm. Two new F-Theta JENar lenses with a focal length of 170 mm for 532 nm and 1064 nm are made for a high imaging quality. On the other hand the compact JENar F-Theta lens for 1064 nm with a focal length of 160 mm and an equally large scan field diameter of 170 mm is a reasonable alternative. All these new products are designed without focussed back reflections in the galvo-mirror area. Because of highly laser-resistant glass materials the lenses are suitable for high-power applications without focus-shift effects.

Furthermore, JENOPTIK showcases its HEX 04 hot embossing/nano imprinting system. It provides the user with maximum flexibility in the high-precision molding of polymer parts which contain features in the micro and nano dimension including those with high aspect ratios. The HEX 04 system has been specifically created to provide a large volume manufacturing solution for a wide range of microoptical and microfluidical applications. It features short cycle times, the ability to emboss substrates up to 300 mm and uses JENOPTIK’s proprietary “Active De-Embossing Technology” which ensures an effective separation process of the embossing molds from the substrate.

Projection displays and inertial sensors

The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT manufactures hermetically sealed 2D MEMS scanning mirrors for compact full-color laser projection displays and imaging sensor applications. Features of these electrostatically driven scanners are scan frequencies up to 100kHz, scan angles up to 100 degrees and low driving voltages. Hermetic vacuum encapsulation at wafer level makes the MEMS scanners suitable for automotive applications, as reliable operation over a wide temperature and humidity range is required. Among these applications there are dashboard displays, head-up displays and ranging sensors. However, the potentially largest market will be consumer applications like embedded laser projection displays for cell phones and game consoles.

In collaboration with Sensordynamics, Fraunhofer ISIT develops miniaturized, high-precision acceleration and angular rate sensors (gyrometers) with high device density and functionality. By chip-level integration of diverse sensor types and sensor axes, smart combi sensor systems can be manufactured cost-efficiently. The combination of three accelerometers and gyrometers to an inertial measurement unit (IMU) enables the real-time orientation and position tracking of a moving body. In a car these signals can be utilized for vehicle dynamic control systems like ESP. Autonomous position tracking can be used also for robotic navigation. Other applications are for example direction guidance in buildings or interactive interfaces for PCs for virtual reality animations.

Customized level sensors

CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH presents a modular construction kit for the fast and competitive development of opto-electronical horizontal position sensors. Essentials of the so-called eLiSe sensor platform are a precision circular bubble vial and a tailored reflectometric detector module, which scans the position of a gas bubble. The detector consists of a silicon chip with four photodiodes, arranged in a ring-shape, and an integrated LED die as light source. Evaluation electronics with standard interface I2C respectively USB plus visualization software are completing the eLiSe system, which is characterized by high sensitivity and resolution of measurement as well as its small size.

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