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Study of two different thin film coating methods in transmission laser micro-joining of thin Ti-film coated glass and polyimide for biomedical applications

: Sultana, T.; Georgiev, G.L.; Baird, R.J.; Auner, G.W.; Newaz, G.; Patwa, R.; Herfurth, H.J.


Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 2 (2009), No.3, pp.237-242
ISSN: 1751-6161
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Biomedical devices and implants require precision joining for hermetic sealing which can be achieved with low power lasers. The effect of two different thin metal film coating methods was studied in transmission laser micro-joints of titanium-coated glass and polyimide. The coating methods were cathodic arc physical vapor deposition (CA-PVD) and electron beam evaporation (EB-PVD). Titanium-coated glass joined to polyimide film can have neural electrode application. The improvement of the joint quality will be essential for robust performance of the device. Low power fiber laser (wave length = 1100 nm) was used for transmission laser micro-joining of thin titanium (Ti) film (similar to 200 nm) coated Pyrex borosilicate 7740 glass wafer (0.5 mm thick) and polyimide (Imidex) film (0.2 mm thick). Ti film acts as the coupling agent in the joining process. The Ti film deposition rate in the CA-PVD was 5-10 angstrom/s and in the EB-PVD 1.5 angstrom/s. The laser joint strength was measured by a lap shear test, the 71 film surfaces were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and the lap shear tested joints were analyzed by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The film properties and the failure modes of the joints were correlated to joint strength. The CA-PVD produced around 4 times stronger laser joints than EB-PVD. The adhesion of the Ti film on glass by CA-PVD is better than that of the EB-PVD method. This is likely to be due to a higher film deposition rate and consequently higher adhesion or sticking coefficient for the CA-PVD particles arriving on the substrate compared to that of the EB-PVD film. EB-PVD shows poor laser bonding properties due to the development of thermal hotspots which occurs from film decohesion.