1st Edition

Fundamentals of Laser Micromachining

By Ronald Schaeffer Copyright 2012
    260 Pages 163 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.


    Laser Theory and Operation
    Brief Review of Laser Physics
    CO2 Lasers
    Solid-State Nd3+ Lasers
    Excimer Lasers
    Fiber Lasers
    Disk Lasers
    Ultrashort Pulse (USP) Lasers
    Comparisons of Laser Sources

    Beam Delivery Systems—Imaging and Focusing
    Steps to an Effective Optical Setup

    Light–Material Interaction
    Photoablation and Material Interaction with UV Light
    Thermal Effects

    System Integration
    Processing System Considerations
    General Requirements
    Part Viewing Systems
    Motion Control
    Part Handling
    Laser Support Systems

    Discussion of Some Processing Techniques
    Aligning to Fiducials
    Laser Drilling Large Numbers of Really Small, High-Aspect Ratio Holes
    Gas Assist
    Patterning Thin Films
    Multiple Hole Drilling Using Galvos
    In-Volume Selective Laser Etching (ISLE)

    Microelectronics and Semiconductors
    Medical Devices
    Renewable Energy

    Silicon and Gallium Arsenide

    Metrology and Cleaning
    Postlaser 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.

    … 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