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Laser welding of glasses at high repetition rates

Fundamentals and prospects
: Richter, S.; Zimmermann, F.; Tünnermann, A.; Nolte, S.


Optics and laser technology 83 (2016), S.59-66
ISSN: 0030-3992
ISSN: 0308-4280
Fraunhofer IOF ()

We report on the welding of various glasses with ultrashort laser pulses. Femtosecond laser pulses at repetition rates in the MHz range are focused at the interface between two substrates, resulting in multiphoton absorption and heat accumulation from successive pulses. This leads to local melting and subsequent resolidification which can be used to weld the glasses.
The fundamental interaction process was studied using an in-situ micro Raman setup to measure the laser induced temperature distribution and its temporal decay. The induced network changes were analyzed by Raman spectrocopy identifying an increase of three and four membered silicon rings within the laser irradiated area. In order to determine the stability of the laser welded samples a three point bending test was used. Thereby, we identified that the maximal achievable breaking strength is limited by laser induced stress surrounding the modified material. To minimize the amount of stress bursts of laser pulses or an post processing annealing step can be applied. Besides fused silica, we welded borosilicate glasses and glasses with a low thermal expansion coefficient. Even the welding of different glass combinations is possible demonstrating the versatility of ultrashort pulse induced laser welding.