Short pulse widths and high repetition rates allow femtosecond lasers to excel in applications that are difficult with traditional nanosecond lasers. When laser pulses are in the few to sub picosecond range (ultrafast lasers), the vaporization event occurs so quickly that heat does not have time to travel outside of the event zone. What this means for material processing is the potential (with the right laser, optics, and settings) for no HAZ.
- Etch metals and ceramics with the level of detail found in acid etching, with no raised edges or post processing typically required with nanosecond lasers.
- Cut thin metals with no raised edges on the top or bottom surface.
- Process materials with no discoloration halos around cuts or engravings.
Femtosecond lasers are less wavelength dependent than nanosecond lasers for processing materials like polymers, glass, and ceramics because of the high photon flux of ultrashort pulses. These lasers also typically have high repetition rates that allow for high processing speeds.
- Trim or drill small molded parts, and etch microchannels in clear polymers using visible or NIR wavelengths.
- Ablate clear polymers or glass internally.
- Process diamond, silicon carbide, ceramic, and wafer substrates (aluminum nitride, gallium nitride, and boron nitride)
- Cut FPD (flat panel display) materials, unstrengthened glass, and sapphire using the ClearShapeTM (zero kerf) method.
- Scribe P1, P2, and P3 trenches (thin film structuring) in photovoltaic cells.
- Ablate ITO and other thin films (thin film patterning) on glass, OLED’s, and electronic devices.