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Micro Channels in Sapphire and Glass

á Micro Channel in fused silica: Y-junction - Micro channel: The Y-junction has a cross-section of 100 Ám and was structured inside fused silica by means of ISLE. Copyright: Fraunhofer ILT Micro Channel in fused silica: Y-junction - Micro channel: The Y-junction has a cross-section of 100 Ám and was structured inside fused silica by means of ISLE.

The Chair for Laser Technology works on the research and fabrication of micro channels in sapphire and glass by selective laser-induced etching.

Micro Channels in Glass and Sapphire
For micro fluidic systems in materials resistant against corrosive chemicals and high temperatures such as sapphire and fused silica micro channels and holes are produced by ISLE (In-volume Selective Laser-induced Etching).

In sapphire, micro channels are produced with diameters 1-10 Ám and a length of 1 cm. The large aspect ratio is the result of the extraordinary selectivity of the laser-induced etching due to the very large chemical resistance of sapphire. Exploiting the formation of nanoplanes inside the modified channels, hollow nanoplanes with a diameter of as low as 100 nm and a length of several mm can be produced in sapphire e.g. for filter applications.

In fused silica (quartz glass) aspect ratios between 300:1 and >1000:1 are obtained resulting in micro channels with nearly no taper (see bottom picture). By means of our micro scanner complex structures can be generated inside glass, e.g. a Y-junction (see top picture).