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The effect of vacuum conditions on feature quality and machining efficiency for ultrafast laser micromachining (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Simon Ashforth; Thomas Ward; Thom Minnee; Claude Aguergaray; M. Cather Simpson
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Paper Abstract

Ultrafast laser micromachining that utilises pulses on a femtosecond timescale is a rapidly growing area of research with applications in a wide variety of fields, from microelectronics to microsurgery. Femtosecond pulses are often praised for their ability to perform precise cutting of materials through a ‘cold-cutting’ mechanism which avoids mechanical and thermal collateral damage to the surrounding area. However, the high precision and clean ablation features associated with ultrafast laser micromachining can be counteracted through the intense plasma in air that is generated at high pulse energies. The highly reflective plasma generated above the sample surface can result in a distorted beam profile at the target machining plane, producing machined features with reduced edge quality and accuracy. In addition, the highly reflective plasma results in underutilised portions of the incident pulse energy, therefore decreasing machining efficiency. We present the ablation threshold data and trends for a variety of materials including undoped silicon, stainless steel and sapphire laser machined under vacuum and other ambient conditions. Ablation thresholds were determined using the diameter regression technique with 130 fs, 800 nm laser pulses at a repetition rate of 500 Hz. Ablation features are analysed extensively to observe the impact of the ambient conditions on the resulting feature quality.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 March 2019
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Proc. SPIE 10908, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIX, 109080X (4 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2508149
Show Author Affiliations
Simon Ashforth, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Thomas Ward, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Thom Minnee, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
Claude Aguergaray, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)
M. Cather Simpson, The Univ. of Auckland (New Zealand)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10908:
Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XIX
Peter R. Herman; Michel Meunier; Roberto Osellame, Editor(s)

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