Pulsed Lasers Blog Posts

Femtosecond Lasers for Material Processing and Micromachining Applications

Ultrashort pulsed Femtosecond laser  applications are continually growing and being developed across a variety of market spaces including micromachining, bio, medical, and research & development.  Ultrafast lasers are primarily utilized in applications where the required minimal heat affected zone (HAZ) and high quality cannot be achieved by a traditional CW or long pulsed fiber, nanosecond, or picosecond laser systems.  RPMC Lasers Inc. offers a range of Femtosecond laser systems with power levels up to 100W, pulse durations as low as ≈ 100 fs, and repetition rate options from single shot to 80 MHz.

Femtosecond Lasers

A femtosecond is equal to 10−15 of a second, which is one millionth of one billionth, of a second. At a given pulse energy, the peak power of the laser increases as the pulse width gets shorter.  Therefore, femtosecond lasers have much higher peak power than longer pulsed picosecond, nanosecond, or millisecond pulsed lasers.  These higher peak powers result in higher removal rates in a given material due to the fact that more of the total energy is transferred to the material and less is pulled into heating the material.  The high peak powers of these femtosecond lasers, often several MW, creates a breakdown between the electrons and atoms in the material, causing what is known as a “Coulomb explosion”.  A Coulomb explosion is a cold processing alternative to the conventional thermal ablation utilized by longer pulsed lasers. Ablation is a thermal process that relies on local heating, melting, and vaporization of molecules and atoms. Ablation can be detrimental for some laser applications as it typically creates unwanted HAZ, recast and burs, all of which are negative effects of heat, making cold ablation a better option for certain applications.

Micromachining with Femtosecond Lasers

The primary application for femtosecond lasers is micromachining, which can include consumer, medical or R&D applications.  Typically, these applications require femtosecond pulses for their cold-ablation affects.  Femtosecond lasers are ideal tools for applications where micro-cracks, HAZ, or recasts are detrimental to the integrity or lifetime of the material being processed.  

A growing application for femtosecond lasers is in the field of handheld electronics…more specifically cell phones and tablets.  Manufactures are experimenting with different materials to make a more robust product.  The popularity of ultrafast femtosecond lasers continues to grow in these challenging industrial applications that require cold ablation.

Our femtosecond micromachining lasers can be applied to a variety of industrial processes, including cold ablation, semiconductor processing, stent cutting, laser marking, TFT repair, thin film patterning, marking, dicing, scribing, solar cell cutting, edge isolation, laser deposition, surface patterning, processing volatile materials, or machining hard materials. Femtosecond lasers are also used in various medical procedures within the ophthalmological and dermatological fields

Femtosecond lasers microstructure (groove, cut, drill, micromill, etc.) virtually any material with:
  • no thermal side-effects such as microcracks, burrs, or recast
  • lateral features as small as a few um
  • pulses-on-demand for easy integration into delivery systems
  • high average power, pulse energy and rep rate for increased ablation rate per pulse
Examples for industrial femtosecond laser micromachining can include:
  • IMD – medical and biomedical devices (PMMA, PLLA, catheters, stents, pacemakers, guidewires, cutting, drilling, de-coating, etc.)
  • FPD- flat panel display (AMOLED, OLED, Quantum Dots panels)
  • Micro and nano-processing of complex materials (glass, ceramics, quartz, sapphire, organic tissues, etc.)
  • Surface texturing

Application lab services are available for proof or principle testing.  Please contact RPMC Lasers for more information.

Spark Lasers develops, manufactures, and sells innovative, compact femtosecond lasers worldwide to the Micromachining and Biophotonics market segments.   Our modular, highly versatile design allows for fast and easy integration and maintenance.  Spark Lasers high-quality standards, combined with the best photonics technologies available, enable us to deliver cutting edge, compact and affordably priced ultrafast lasers to both industrial and life-science experts.

Diadem IR Femtosecond Laser

Diadem Femtosecond Laser produces high energy, femtosecond pulses (<400fs), in a compact and robust format. Offering a low total cost of ownership, high precision and ease of integration, the DIADEM industrial femto laser is ideally suited for industrial applications such as glass engraving or micron-scaled features drilling/cutting used in a wide variety of market segments.

Diadem Key Features:
  • 10/20/30W at 1030/1064 nm
  • <400 fs to 10 ps @ 1030/1064 nm
  • Up to 40 μJ @ 1030/1064 nm
  • PRF range single shot to 2 MHz
  • Burst mode
  • M² < 1.2 @ 1030/1064
  • Sync-in for pulse-on-demand / Sync-out: TTL
  • Rugged design
  • Air cooled, Maintenance free
  • Worldwide warranty coverage 24 months

   See More About the Diadem   

From single shot to 2 MHz, its efficient, easy to use GUI allows for the fine tuning of parameters to meet the most challenging processes.

DIADEM ultrafast femtosecond laser is well suited for year round 24/7 operating environments.  Its compact size, high performance and low capital investment make it an ideal source for your ultrafast laser needs.

Alcor 1064 – Ultra-Compact Femtosecond Laser

ALCOR produces high-average power with ultrashort femtosecond pulses (down to <170 fs) at high repetition rate (80 MHz standard, others optional) in an ultra-compact and robust format. ALCOR is a fiber laser with a best-in-class quality and collimated beam providing high-stability. Integrating state of the art high-power fullt package amplifiers and pulse management, ALCOR offers remarkable pulse quality at high average power with no maintenance required.

Alcor Key Features
  • 1064nm (others optional)
  • 100 fs to <130fs (depending on configuration)
  • Up to 5W
  • GDD Precompensation from 0 to -60,000 fs2
  • 80MHz rep. rate (others optional)
  • Excellent Beam Quality – M<1.2 (<1.3 for 920-4W version)
  • Ultra compact, robust & air cooled fiber laser
  • Plug’n play: < 5 min set up, sync. out / sync .in
  • Intuitive user interface
Options:

ALCOR XSight external module:

  • Fine power adjustment
  • Fast gating with TTL signal (< 1µs response time)
  • Fast power modulation with an analog signal (< 1µs response time)

ALCOR FLeX (fiber delivered femtosecond pulses with total pulse control)

  • External module for 920nm or 1064nm
  • Fine and fast power control (XSight)
  • Computer-controlled GDD precompensation from 0 to -30,000 fs^2
  • Average power > 0.8 W at the fiber output

   See More About the Alcor   

Altair: Femtosecond Laser

The ALTAIR mode-locked fiber laser produces high average powers up to 20W, ultrashort femtosecond pulses  of <150 fs (<250 fs for VERSA configuration), at a high repetition rate of 80 MHz (others available) in an air-cooled, ultra-compact and robust package.  The ALTAIR is an ideal solution for bioimaging/biophotonics applications such as multiphoton microscopy where deep excitation of red-shifted indicators such as RCaMP, dtTomato, and MCherry is required. As a mode-locked fiber laser, the ALTAIR provides high stability and excellent beam quality.  A host of options can be added to the system such as GDD pre-compensation down to -60,000 fs^2 (lower options available), custom wavelengths, harmonics, repetition rates, and more.

Altair Key Features

  • Up to 20 W avg. power at 80 MHz (1.5 MW peak)
  • Up to 250 nJ/pulse
  • <150 fs pulses (<250 fs for VERSA configuration)
  • Pulse picking option
  • GDD precompensation from 0 down to -60,000 fs^2
  • Remote control through TCP/IP
  • Rugged design
  • Maintenance-free
Options:
  • 1064nm (or other) wavelengths
  • GDD Extension – Increase range to -90,000 fs2
  • Ultra Short Pulse duration (USP) – Pulse duration below 50fs, 30fs typical
  • Frequency Conversion – 517nm or computer selectable 517/1040nm
  • Repetition Rate – Any fixed frequency from 30MHz to 80MH

The fiber-based design enables a more compact, robust, and reliable laser than its DPSS and Ti:Sapphire counterparts. Through this simplified fiber design, these fiber lasers require little to no maintenance.  Historically, researchers have been using Ti: Sapphire lasers, which utilize many more components and moving parts, including water cooling systems, requiring significantly more maintenance and ultimately leading to higher total cost of ownership.   The combination of short pulse duration and high average power offers many benefits for bioimaging such as lower scattering and deeper penetration and is the preferred solution for both OEM and researchers in the microscopy and life sciences fields.

   See More About the Altair   

Learn more about laser fundamentals at our Lasers 101 Page

 

RPMC Lasers strives to provide lasers and laser modules at an affordable price while also providing top-notch customer service.

Therefore, we believe we are the best option for ALL your DPSS Laser and Laser Diode needs!

Contact RPMC Lasers by Phone: 636-272-7227 or Email: info@rpmclasers.com

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