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Direct Write Micromachining Using High Repetition Rate UV Lasers

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Abstract

Laser micromachining is rapidly emerging as a unique manufacturing process for the miniaturisation of mechanical and electronic components. The laser most suited to these applications is a UV source, because the high material absorption at short wavelengths results in ‘clean’ ablation of the target material, as well as giving the optical resolution necessary to achieve micron accuracy. Although the excimer laser is the most widely used UV source, frequency doubled copper vapor lasers represent an attractive alternative for numerous applications. The frequency doubled copper vapor laser (255, 271, 289nm) operates at similar wavelengths to excimer lasers, and has the advantage of running at elevated pulse repetition frequencies of up to 20kHz, compared to 1kHz for excimer lasers. This feature makes them useful tools for investigating and developing a fuller understanding of the processes governing the manner by which the ablation rate for different materials scale with source repetition rates.

© 1998 IEEE

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