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Laser Micromachining Center

The Laser Micromachining Center is managed by the Quattrone Nanofabrication Center and is located in the Singh Center for Nanotechnology. Two laser systems comprising of three lasers - 193-nm excimer, 532-nm green fiber, and 1070-nm IR fiber - are currently available (see descriptions below). Supporting equipment for sample preparation and analysis are also available. The center is open to authorized internal and external users. We offer basic and advanced training sessions and provide technical support. For more information, please contact us.

Projects previously machined on lasers within MSMA include microneedles, interdigitated and planar metal designs, sintered multi-layer alumina devices, silicon device trimming, and sintered powder permanent magnets. The systems can be used for a wide variety of micromachining applications including micro-drilling, thin film removal, dicing, annealing, laser lift-off (LLO), photovoltaics/solar cells, plastic marking, materials processing, texturing, Si ablation, spot/seam/micro- welding, metal drilling, cutting, batteries, medical devices, and computer components, just to name a few.

imageThe IPG Photonics IX-255 is a highly flexible UV laser micromachining system for multi-purpose, R&D, and small-scale production applications. The system combines a Class-1 workstation integrated with a proprietary UV laser, tool shape selector, and software for complex automation sequences. The system can be configured for higher on-target fluence and higher laser repetition rates typically required for micromachining, and lower on-target fluence for large field imaging, patterning, and materials processing applications.

The system operates at 193 nm with a varying beam size from 1 micron to 400 microns square depending on mask size and shape. Materials such as glass, kapton, parylene, SU-8, metals, permanent magnets, ceramics, and silicon have been successfully micromachined along with the possibilities of collagen, elastin, liquid-crystal polymer, and other polymer-like or transparent materials.

imageThe IPG Photonics IX-280-DSF is part of the IX-280 family of multi-function Class 1 laser processing workstations that employ multiple laser technologies in a single package; such as an IPG Photonics fiber IR laser and a third party excimer laser similar to the IX-255. The IX-280-DSF features two IPG Photonics fiber lasers with an optional galvanometer system. The system operates at 532 and 1070 nm with a 15 and 40-60 micron beam size, respectively. Materials such as glass, kapton, parylene, SU-8, metals, and silicon have been successfully micromachined on the 532 nm laser and have been successfully machined on the 1070 nm laser.

The included IPG 532-nm GLP-series fiber laser has an optimum pulse energy of 100 µJ, a pulse width of 1 ns, and a repetition rate of up to 300kHz with a maximum power of 10 W. It utilizes a galvanometer/scanner head to raster the laser spot around the part being machined for rapid micromachining of small features.

IPG’s quasi continuous wave (QCW) fiber laser is ideal for spot welding, seam welding, drilling, and cutting in the long pulse operation mode. These air cooled, compact units are substantially more cost-effective than conventional YAG lasers due to >30% wall-plug efficiencies and maintenance-free operation.

Other potential materials for this system include various thick metals, ceramics, and polymers with material thicknesses ranging from 1 micron to 10 mm, depending on the material and laser used.