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Home > Products > Laser Systems: Micromachining

Micromachining


Laser Drilling

50µm SQUARE HOLES IN SiN, IMAGE COURTESY OF OXFORD LASERS

Micro-hole drilling is possible for pinholes, nozzles, orifices, vias, photovoltaic cells etc. Very high position and diameter tolerances (less than 1µm) can be achieved.
Technology From: Oxford Lasers

Laser Drilling

Laser drilling can be used to produce micro-holes in almost any material. Warsash Scientific offer laser drilling systems and services for micro-hole production and R&D.

Micro-hole drilling is possible for pinholes, nozzles, orifices, vias, photovoltaic cells etc. Very high position and diameter tolerances (less than 1µm) can be achieved.

A number of proprietary processes have been developed to optimise the laser micro hole drilling process and enable laser drilling of highly accurate small holes. These proprietary micro drilling techniques, coupled with the most appropriate choice of laser for the job, enable us to micro-drill nozzles etc. with a very high diameter accuracy and controlled taper for a wide variety of applications.

These systems and services have been used to manufacture micro-holes in fuel injection components, vertical probe cards, metered dose inhaler products, pinholes and slits for scientific instrumentation, inkjet printer nozzles, detectors, sensors, high resolution circuitry, fuel cells, fibre optic interconnects and medical devices.

Micro-holes can be laser micro-drilled in metals, ceramics, diamond, silicon and other semiconductors, polymers, glass and sapphire using industrial visible and UV systems. Laser microdrilling systems are available to suit most micro-hole production and R&D requirements.

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Laser Cutting

100µm CURVED CHANNELS ON POLYMER, IMAGE COURTESY OF OXFORD LASERS

Laser precision cutting is an attractive micromachining technique for most materials. Features down to 1 micron wide and up to 2mm deep can be machined.
Technology From: Oxford Lasers

Laser Cutting

Laser precision cutting is an attractive micromachining technique for most materials. Features down to 1 micron wide and up to 2mm deep can be machined.

Almost any type of material can be micro-cut. Materials which can be machined include:

  • Metals: stainless steel, hardened steel, copper, aluminium, brass, tungsten, titanium
  • Ceramics: alumina, zirconia, machinable ceramics, green ceramics, PZT, silicon nitride, tungsten carbide
  • Super hard materials: diamond, silicon nitride, tungsten carbide
  • Plastics: polyimide, PTFE, PMMA, Kapton, Vespel, Cirlex, ABS
  • Glasses and crystaline materials: BK7, sapphire, fused silica
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Laser Micromilling

DIAMOND MEANDER DEVICE, IMAGE COURTESY OF OXFORD LASERS

Micro-milling can be used to create 2.5D features in the surface of most materials. With the appropriate choice of process conditions surface roughness below 1 micron can be obtained.
Technology From: Oxford Lasers

Micromilling

Micromilling can be used to create 2.5D features in the surface of most materials. With the appropriate choice of process conditions surface roughness below 1 micron can be obtained.

Laser Micro Milling is simple in concept. Each laser pulse ablates a very small amount of material. The laser is scanned across the surface to produce the desired feature. The number of pulses at each position determines the depth of the feature. In practice the quality of the result is strongly dependent on the choice of laser and the scanning strategy adopted. In many cases the morphology of the starting material is also important with fine grained or amorphous materials producing the best results.

Complicated laser micromachining can be applied to to a wide range of materials.

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Marking and Engraving

MARKING ON COPPER, IMAGE COURTESY OF OXFORD LASERS

Patterns or shapes can be engraved onto any material. Decorative markings or barcodes can be written at high speed with high accuracy.
Technology From: Oxford Lasers

Marking and Engraving

Patterns or shapes can be engraved onto any material. Decorative markings or barcodes can be written at high speed with high accuracy.

Laser micro-engraving and micro-marking is really a sub-set of laser micro-milling. Small amounts of material are removed by each laser pulse. The laser beam is scanned over the surface to produce the desired pattern. By altering the number of pulses at each point the depth of mark can be controlled.

For ultra-clear marking it is often desirable to coat the substrate with a high contrast surface layer. Laser ablation of this layer exposes the underlying substrate material to give a vey high contrast mark.

Microfeatures down to approximately 10 microns in diameter can be produced. 2-D barcodes can be produced with pixel sizes down to 50 microns.

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Scribing and Dicing

100µm TRACK ON GLASS, IMAGE COURTESY OF OXFORD LASERS

Lasers can be used to scribe fine features in any material. This can be for surface patterning, dicing or as the first step in a "scribe and break" process.
Technology From: Oxford Lasers

Scribing and Dicing

Lasers can be used to scribe fine features in any material. This can be for surface patterning, dicing or as the first step in a "scribe and break" process.

Fine slots can be cut in almost any material including: ceramics, silicon, sapphire, metals and glass. These very fine slots can be used directly, as in the Laser Groove Buried Grid (LGBG) process in photovoltaic cell production.

Alternatively the slot weakens materials in a very controlled manner, prior to applying a force to fracture the material. The very fine control over the scribing leads to an extremely well defined break, which is clean and free of micro-cracking. This is often used in the electronics industry for dicing silicon wafers and ceramic sheets and in the solar power industry for cutting up photovoltaic cells for solar concentrators.

In addition to scribing, most materials under 1mm thick can be micro-cut through using a laser. This eliminates the breaking step but lengthens the process time. Laser micro-cutting is often used for dicing small batches while scribing is used for volume production.

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All products and information are subject to change without notice.