Today, the use of laser photons for materials processing is a key technology in nearly all industries. Most of the applications use circular beam shapes with Gaussian intensity distribution that is given by the resonator of the laser or by the power delivery via optical fibre. These beam shapes can be typically used for material removal with cutting or drilling and for selective removal of material layers with ablation processes. In addition to the removal of materials, it is possible to modify and improve the material properties in case the dose of laser photons and the resulting light-material interaction addresses a defined window of energy and dwell-time. These process windows have typically dwell-times between µs and s because of using sintering, melting, thermal diffusion or photon induced chemical and physical reaction mechanisms. Using beam shaping technologies the laser beam profiles can be adapted to the material properties and time-temperature and the space-temperature envelopes can be modified to enable selective annealing or crystallization of layers or surfaces. Especially the control of the process energy inside the beam and at its edges opens a large area of laser applications that can be addressed only with an optimized spatial and angular beam profile with down to sub-percent intensity variation used in e.g. immersion lithography tools with ArF laser sources. LIMO will present examples for new beam shapes and related material refinement processes even on large surfaces and give an overview about new mechanisms in laser material processing for current and coming industrial applications.
Dirk Hauschild, "Application specific beam profiles: new surface and thin-film refinement processes using beam shaping technologies," Proc. SPIE 10085, Components and Packaging for Laser Systems III, 100850J (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 01, 2017; Published: 22 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252388.
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Study of self-shadowing effect as a simple means to realize nanostructured thin films and layers with special attentions to birefringent obliquely deposited thin films and photo-luminescent porous silicon