9 March 2016 Time-resolved study of femtosecond laser induced micro-modifications inside transparent brittle materials
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Abstract
Laser processing of optically transparent or semi-transparent, brittle materials is finding wide use in various manufacturing sectors. For example, in consumer electronic devices such as smartphones or tablets, cover glass needs to be cut precisely in various shapes. The unique advantage of material processing with femtosecond lasers is efficient, fast and localized energy deposition in nearly all types of solid materials. When an ultra-short laser pulse is focused inside glass, only the localized region in the neighborhood of the focal volume absorbs laser energy by nonlinear optical absorption. Therefore, the processing volume is strongly defined, while the rest of the target stays unaffected. Thus ultra-short pulse lasers allow cutting of the chemically strengthened glasses such as Corning Gorilla glass without cracking. Non-ablative cutting of transparent, brittle materials, using the newly developed femtosecond process ClearShapeTM from Spectra-Physics, is based on producing a micron-sized material modification track with well-defined geometry inside. The key point for development of the process is to understand the induced modification by a single femtosecond laser shot. In this paper, pump-probe microscopy techniques have been applied to study the defect formation inside of transparent materials, namely soda-lime glass samples, on a time scale between one nanosecond to several tens of microseconds. The observed effects include acoustic wave propagation as well as mechanical stress formation in the bulk of the glass. Besides better understanding of underlying physical mechanisms, our experimental observations have enabled us to find optimal process parameters for the glass cutting application and lead to better quality and speed for the ClearShapeTM process.
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F. Hendricks, F. Hendricks, V. V. Matylitsky, V. V. Matylitsky, M. Domke, M. Domke, Heinz P. Huber, Heinz P. Huber, "Time-resolved study of femtosecond laser induced micro-modifications inside transparent brittle materials", Proc. SPIE 9740, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XVI, 97401A (9 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2214081; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214081
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