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Proceedings Article

Laser micromachining of transparent fused silica with 1-ps pulses and pulse trains

[+] Author Affiliations
Peter R. Herman, Anton Oettl, Kevin P. Chen, Robin S. Marjoribanks

Univ. of Toronto and Photonics Research Ontario (Canada)

Proc. SPIE 3616, Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers, 148 (June 4, 1999); doi:10.1117/12.351828
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From Conference Volume 3616

  • Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers
  • Murray K. Reed; Joseph Neev
  • San Jose, CA | January 23, 1999

abstract

Ablation rates and etched-surface morphology of fused silica has been studied with 1-ps Nd:glass laser pulses in a regime of near-diffraction-limited spot size. Shallow holes of 1.7- micrometers diameter were too small for the formation of laser- induced periodic-surface structures. Atomic-force and scanning-electron microscopy showed that reproducible etch depth and moderately smooth surfaces are attainable for low fluences of 5.5 - 45 J/cm2--the `gentle' ablation regime. Etch depth progressed linearly with the number of laser pulses until the onset of surface swelling and shock- induced microcracks after a critical number Nc of laser pulses, scaling as Nc equals 1.7 + 80/F (fluence F in J/cm2). Below this limit--for accumulated etch depths less than approximately 2 micrometers --3D surface structuring with sub-micron precision is possible with picosecond-laser pulses. In the strong ablation regime (F > 45 J/cm2), surface morphology was poor and microcracking developed within 2 - 4 pulses. These shock-induced microcracking effects were eliminated when a mode-locked train of approximately 400 identical 1-ps pulses, each separated by 7.5 ns, was applied. Very smooth and deep (approximately 30- micrometers ) holes of 7 - 10-micrometers diameter were excised at a total fluence of approximately 100 kJ/cm2, establishing a new means for rapid and precise micromachining of fused silica and other brittle materials.

© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

Peter R. Herman ; Anton Oettl ; Kevin P. Chen and Robin S. Marjoribanks
"Laser micromachining of transparent fused silica with 1-ps pulses and pulse trains", Proc. SPIE 3616, Commercial and Biomedical Applications of Ultrafast Lasers, 148 (June 4, 1999); doi:10.1117/12.351828; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.351828


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