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Wide-range taper angle control in ultrafast laser micromachining

6-D Laser, LLC (a member of ALIO Industries’ motion control and micromachining family of companies) has developed an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines high-speed galvo scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod.

ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod takes a different approach to traditional 6 Degree of Freedom (6-DOF) positioning devices, and exhibits much higher performance at extremely competitive prices.  

High speed galvo-scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of the ALIO Hybrid Hexapod

Rather than 6 independent legs (and 12 connection joints) ALIO’s approach combines a precision XY monolithic stage, tripod, and continuous rotation theta-Z axis to provide superior overall performance.

The combination of serial and parallel kinematics at the heart of ALIO’s 6-D Nano Precision is characterised by orders-of-magnitude improvements (when compared to traditional hexapods) in precision, path performance, speed, and stiffness.

The Hybrid Hexapod also has a larger work envelope than traditional hexapods with virtually unlimited XY travel and fully programmable tool center point locations.

The Hybrid Hexapod has less than 100nm Point Precision repeatability, in three-dimensional space.

3D laser scanning confocal microscope image of a sapphire wafer (450 microns thick). A square feature was machined in the wafer with an ultrafast laser while controlling the AOI with the Hybrid Hexapod. The result is a wall taper angle of less than 0.5 degrees over a total feature size of 10 x 10mm

Introducing an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines the positioning capabilities of the Hybrid Hexapod, with high-speed optical scanning leads to a system that can process hard, transparent materials with wide-range taper angle control for the creation of high aspect ratio features in thick substrates, without limitations on the feature or field size.

Ultrafast laser ablative processes, which remove material in a layer-by-layer process,  result in machined features that have a significant side wall taper. For example, a desired cylindrical hole will have a conical profile.  

Taper formation is difficult to avoid in laser micromachining processes that are creating deep features (>100 microns).

Precision scanheads can create features with near-zero angle side walls, however, they are limited to small angles of incidence (AOI) and small field sizes by the optics in the beamline. 

6-D Laser’s micromachining system controls the AOI and resulting wall taper angle through the Hybrid Hexapod motion system, and the programmable tool center point allows for the control of  the AOI over the entire galvo scan field, enabling the processing of large features.Figure 1. High speed galvo-scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of the ALIO Hybrid Hexapod.F


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