Due to their flexible and efficient capabilities, lasers are often used over more traditional machining technologies, such as mechanical drilling and chemical etching, in manufacturing a wide variety of products, from medical implants, gyroscopes, and drug delivery catheters to aircraft engines, printed circuit boards, and fuel cells. Fundamentals of Laser Micromachining explains how laser technology is applied to precision micromachining. The book combines background on physics, lasers, optics, and hardware with analysis of markets, materials, and applications. It gives sufficient theoretical background for readers to understand basic concepts while including a further reading appendix for those interested in more detailed theoretical discussions.
After reviewing laser history and technology, the author compares available laser sources, including CO2, excimer, Nd:YAG, fiber, and short pulse. He also addresses topics crucial to obtaining good processing results, such as IR and UV material–photon interaction, basic optical components, and system integration. The text goes on to cover real-world applications in the medical, microelectronics, aerospace, and other fields. It concludes with details on processing many common materials, such as metals, silicon, ceramics, and glasses.
For engineers and project managers, this book provides the foundation to achieve cost-effectiveness, the best edge quality, and the highest resolution in small-scale industrial laser machining. It will help you select the correct kind of laser for your application and identify real opportunities for growth in the marketplace.
Table of Contents
Laser Theory and Operation
Brief Review of Laser Physics
Solid-State Nd3+ Lasers
Ultrashort Pulse (USP) Lasers
Comparisons of Laser Sources
Beam Delivery Systems—Imaging and Focusing
Steps to an Effective Optical Setup
Photoablation and Material Interaction with UV Light
Processing System Considerations
Part Viewing Systems
Laser Support Systems
Discussion of Some Processing Techniques
Aligning to Fiducials
Laser Drilling Large Numbers of Really Small, High-Aspect Ratio Holes
Patterning Thin Films
Multiple Hole Drilling Using Galvos
In-Volume Selective Laser Etching (ISLE)
Microelectronics and Semiconductors
Silicon and Gallium Arsenide
Metrology and Cleaning
Appendix: Additional Reading
Ronald Schaeffer is the chief executive officer of PhotoMachining, Inc. He earned a PhD in physical chemistry from Lehigh University and has been involved in laser manufacture and materials processing for more than 25 years. He currently writes a column for MICROmanufacturing and is on the editorial advisory board of Industrial Laser Solutions.
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… a very usable guide for those working in the field of microfabrication machining. And I expect the well-edited index will prove to be a frequently used aid to those working in the technology.
—David Belforte, Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing, July 2012