High peak power solid state laser for micromachining of hard materials
Laser micromachining has become a key enabling technology in the ever-continuing trend of miniaturization in microelectronics, micro-optics, and micromechanics. New applications have become commercially viable due to the emergence of innovative laser sources, such as diode pumped solid-state lasers (DPSSL), and the progress in processing technology. Examples of industrial applications are laser-drilled micro-injection nozzles for highly efficient automobile engines, or manufacturing of complex spinnerets for production of synthetic fibers. The unique advantages of laser-based techniques stem from their ability to produce high aspect ratio holes, while yielding low heat affected zones with exceptional surface quality, roundness and taper tolerances. Additionally, the ability to drill blind holes and slots in very hard materials such as diamond, silicon, sapphire, ceramics and steel is of great interest for many applications in microelectronics, semiconductor and automotive industry. This kind of high quality, high aspect ratio micromachining requires high peak power and short pulse durations.