Laser Micromachining

Overview

Laser remote cutting of thin stainless steel
© Photo Fraunhofer USA CLA

Laser remote cutting of thin stainless steel

Laser textured surface of silicon
© Photo Fraunhofer USA CLA

Laser textured surface of silicon

In laser micromachining, a highly focused laser beam provides very controlled small amounts of energy into the material to cause it to melt or vaporize and enable material removal with or without assist gas. Micromachining includes processes such as laser micro-cutting, ablation, scribing and laser milling.

Fraunhofer has extensive experience in providing laser micromachining services for a wide range of materials including metals and non-metals. High beam quality laser sources are available in both continuous wave and pulsed modes which can be focused to spot sizes down to 10 µm. High peak power pulsed lasers with suitable wavelengths (UV, Vis, IR) pulse lengths (millisecond-nanosecond) and processing heads (fixed optic, scanner optic and combination) can cut metals and non-metals, remove coatings or paint, ablate material, clean and polish surfaces, form shallow grooves and channels.

We have developed unique material removal strategies for specific products such as battery electrodes, medical tubes, silicon parts, circuit board, surgical parts etc.

Advantages

  • High spatial and temporal control of material removal process
  • Otherwise difficult to machine materials (such as diamonds)
  • No mechanical cutting force and non-contact
  • Robust, flexible, fast and precise machining

Laser Applications

  • Contour cutting of thin (<1 mm) materials
  • High speed (>3 m/sec) remote cutting
  • Precision cutting of small components
  • Cutting of non-metals such as diamonds, silicon, paper, polymer
  • Coating/paint removal
  • Wire stripping
  • Laser polishing
  • Forming grooves, channels or micro surface features

Industries

  • Medical devices
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Battery and Solar cells

Materials

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • Nickel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Diamond
  • AlN
  • Silicon
  • Paper
  • Polymer

  • R. Patwa, Dongkyoung L.,  J. Mazumder, H. Herfurth, S. Heinemann, “Investigation of different laser cutting strategies for sizing of Li-Ion battery electrodes”, ICALEO 31th, Anaheim, CA, September 23-27, 2012.
  • R. Patwa, J. Mazumder, H. Herfurth, S. Heinemann, H. Pantsar, “High speed laser cutting of electrodes for advanced batteries”, ICALEO 29th, Anaheim, CA, September 26-30, 2010.
  • M. Anderson, R. Patwa, Y. C. Shin, 2006, “Laser-assisted machining of Inconel 718 with an economic analysis”, International Journal of Machine Tools & Manufacture, 46, pp.1879–1891.
  • L. Dongkyoung, R. Patwa., J. Mazumder, H. Herfurth, 2012, “Computational and experimental studies of laser cutting of the current collectors for lithium-ion batteries”, Journal of Power Sources, 210, pp 327–338.
  • H. Herfurth, R. Patwa, and H. Pantsar, “Laser cutting of electrodes for advanced batteries”, Laser Precision Microfabrication, 11th International Symposium, Germany, 2010.
  • H. J. Herfurth, R. Patwa, H. Pantsar, S. Heinemann and T. Lauterborn, “Micromachining with tailored nanosecond pulses”, Photonics North, 6796, Ottawa, ON, Canada, Jun 2007.