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High speed laser drilling of metals using a high repetition rate, high average power ultrafast fiber CPA system

: Ancona, A.; Röser, F.; Rademaker, K.; Limpert, J.; Nolte, S.; Tünnermann, A.

Postprint (1.1 MByte; PDF; )

Optics Express 16 (2008), Nr.12, S.8958-8968
ISSN: 1094-4087
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IOF ()
ablation; plasma; femtosecond; picosecond; pulse; evolution; solid

We present an experimental study on the drilling of metal targets with ultrashort laser pulses at high repetition rates (from 50 kHz up to 975 kHz) and high average powers (up to 68 Watts), using an ytterbium-doped fiber CPA system. The number of pulses to drill through steel and copper sheets with thicknesses up to 1 mm have been measured as a function of the repetition rate and the pulse energy. Two distinctive effects, influencing the drilling efficiency at high repetition rates, have been experimentally found and studied: particle shielding and heat accumulation. While the shielding of subsequent pulses due to the ejected particles leads to a reduced ablation efficiency, this effect is counteracted by heat accumulation. The experimental data are in good qualitative agreement with simulations of the heat accumulation effect and previous studies on the particle emission. However, for materials with a high thermal conductivity as copper, both effects are negligible for the investigated processing parameters. Therefore, the full power of the fiber CPA system can be exploited, which allows to trepan high-quality holes in 0.5mm-thick copper samples with breakthrough times as low as 75 ms.