Micro structuring in the volume of transparent materials
In-volume structuring Laser production techniques for micro machining of transparent materials
Micro components, micro structures and modifications are fabricated by focused ultrashort pulsed laser radiation in transparent materials like glass, crystals and polymers. Localized refractive index changes are induced by precise modifications which are suitable for optical components like waveguides. Colorful markings and logos are structured below the surface without inducing micro cracks. Micro channels and micro components are realized with high precision and high speed by the process of In-Volume Selective Laser Etching (ISLE). Industry-oriented research and development projects are worked on parallel to publicly funded projects about micro machining with laser radiation.
The laser production techniques are distinguished by the following aspects:
Flexibility by using a scanning system in combination with a translation stage
High precision (< 1 µm) by strongly focused laser radiation and high speed, simultaneously
processing control of heat affected zones
surface treatment or localized in-volume manufacturing of transparent solid work pieces
High energy and material efficiency by selective laser induced etching
Fields of application With ultrashort pulsed laser radiation optical components like waveguides are fabricated for applications in integrated optics. Examples for markets are illumination, beam guiding of diode laser radiation and diagnostics. Waveguides can be combined with microfluidic devices to build integrated systems.
Applications in micro technology and micro optic as well as medical engineering for microfluidic systems are enabled by the structuring of micro components, micro channels and periodical surface structures.
Markings in the volume and on the surface are suitable for tamper-proof labeling of products in pharmaceutical and food industry. In industrial production and logistics the markings can be used for positioning and identification of components and products.