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Proceedings Paper

Laser ablation threshold and etch rate comparison between the ultrafast Yb fiber-based FCPA laser and a Ti:sapphire laser for various materials
Author(s): James M. Bovatsek; Lawrence Shah; Alan Y. Arai; Yuzuru Uehara
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Paper Abstract

Ti:Sapphire lasers remain the most widely used utlrafast laser. However, precise optical alignment and environmental control are necessary for continuous, long-term stable operatoin of the laser. IMRA's FCPA laser is an air-cooled, Yb fiber-based ultrafast laser designed to operate in an industrial environment and provide a stable, high-quality laser beam. In this work, the micromachining performance of the FCPA laser is directly compared with a conventional Ti:Sapphire regenerative amplifier laser. An experimental study was conducted to determine the ablation threshold and etch rate for a variety of materials (including metals, semiconductors, and dielectrics). The materials chosen for the experiments cover a wide range of optical, mechanical and physical properties. Similar focusing conditions were used for both lasers in order to ensure that any differences in the results are primarily due to the different characteristics of each laser. For materials with a relatively low ablation threshold, the full energy of the Ti:Sapphire laser is not needed. Furthermore, it is near the ablation threshold where ultrafast laser processing provides the benefit of minimal thermal damage to the surrounding material. Although the relatively low pulse energy of the FCPA limits its ability to ablate some harder materials, its high repetition rate increases the material processing speed and its good beam quality and stability facilitates tight, efficient focusing for precise machining of small features.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2004
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5662, Fifth International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, (8 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.596573
Show Author Affiliations
James M. Bovatsek, IMRA America, Inc. (United States)
Lawrence Shah, IMRA America, Inc. (United States)
Alan Y. Arai, IMRA America, Inc. (United States)
Yuzuru Uehara, IMRA America, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5662:
Fifth International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication
Isamu Miyamoto; Henry Helvajian; Kazuyoshi Itoh; Kojiro F. Kobayashi; Andreas Ostendorf; Koji Sugioka, Editor(s)

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