Recent advancements in laser technology have resulted in machines capable of high precision micromachining: cutting, drilling, joining, and texturing. Because micromachining is a remote (non-contact) photonic processing technique, it is beginning to replace the more traditional machining methods commonly used to create small drill-holes, narrow pockets, slots and intricately shaped features in parts across many industries including microelectronics, semiconductors, medical and aerospace. In this post, we’ll cover the 5 most commonly asked questions about laser micromachining.

What is laser micromachining?

Laser Micromachining is a tightly controlled material removal process in which a laser beam is used to reshape a material. Traditionally these processes have been done using mechanical milling, chemical etching, and EDM. But as parts become progressively smaller with each passing year, the need for improved micromachining techniques that can produce smaller features with fewer defects is increasing. To meet this need, Lasers are here.

Which industries rely on laser micromachining?

The extreme precision that can be achieved through laser micromachining makes laser micromachining a good option for a variety of industries. Some of those industries include: semiconductors, solar power, batteriers, automotive, aerospace, and medical devices.

What types of lasers are used for laser micromachining?

One of the most exciting advancements in laser technology in recent years has been the refinement of the ultrashort pulse (USP) laser, which emits extremely short pulses that may be only a few hundred femtoseconds in duration. This timescale is shorter than electron relaxation times and the subsequent transition of photon energy into thermal energy (heat). This allows for localized near-athermal ablation in the laser-material interaction region (within the area of the focused laser beam), resulting in highly repeatable features with ablation resolution as small as +/- 1 µm and excellent finish quality. USP lasers can be used to process metals, polymers, ceramics, and glass.

How should a system integrator position itself to provide high quality industrial Laser Micromachining solutions?

Laser system integrators and machine builders should design laser micromachining systems with the laser process foremost in mind. Put simply, these system integrators and machine builders must be as dedicated to their customers’ projects and product lines as they are to their own. This means drawing on a combination of hands-on and academic experience to optimize the customer’s process and then build a machine that satisfies complex requirements.

Citrogene: Glass Microfabrication Experts

Citrogene utilizes a proprietary process for our glass microfabrication processes. Our team of experts is able to produce highly intricate and precise systems because of our access to advanced laser technology. To learn more about our glass micromachining services, contact us today.