Nowadays processing of transparent materials, such as glass, quartz, sapphire and others, is a subject of high interest for worldwide industry since these materials are widely used for mass markets such as consumer electronics, flat display panels manufacturing, optoelectronics or watchmaking industry. The key issue is to combine high throughput, low residual stress and good processing quality in order to avoid chipping and any post-processing step such as grinding or polishing. Complimentary to non-ablative techniques used for zero-kerf glass cutting, surface ablation of such materials is interesting for engraving, grooving as well as full ablation cutting. Indeed this technique enables to process complex parts including via or blind, open or closed, straight or small radius of curvature patterns. We report on surface ablation experiments on transparent materials using a high average power (70W) and high repetition rate (1 MHz) femtosecond laser. These experiments have been done at 1030nm and 515nm on different inorganic transparent materials, such as regular and strengthened glass, borosilicate glass or sapphire, in order to underline their different ablation behavior. Despite the heat accumulation that occurs above 100 kHz we have reached a good compromise between throughput and processing quality. The effects of fluence, pulse-to-pulse overlap and number of passes are discussed in terms of etch rate, ablation efficiency, optimum fluence, maximum achievable depth, micro cracks formation and residual stresses. These experimental results will be also compared with numerical calculations obtained owing to a simple engineering model based on the two-temperature description of the ultrafast ablation.
Konstantin Mishchik, Kevin Gaudfrin, Eric F. Audouard, Eric P. Mottay, and John Lopez, "Surface ablation of inorganic transparent materials using 70W femtosecond pulses at 1MHz (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10091, Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing (LAMOM) XXII, 100910M (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252372.5389784778001.
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