Nikon Corporation Advanced Manufacturing Business Unit
Nikon Corporation Next Generation Project Division

Processing of difficult-to-cut and fragile materials

Nikon's optical subtractive processing machine can perform ablation processing on various materials using an ultra-short pulse laser. This section introduces examples of processing performed on difficult-to-cut and fragile materials using this machine.
Processing of difficult-to-cut and fragile materials

Ablation processing using an ultra-short pulse laser

Nikon’s optical subtractive processing machine employs a laser with an extremely short pulse width of several hundred femtoseconds (10-13 seconds). Concentrating laser energy on a very small part of the object to be processed for a very short time enables ablation processing in which a shape is formed by sublimating and vaporizing a solid. Ablation processing minimizes heat damage, impacts, and loads, enabling high precision processing even of difficult-to-process materials and extremely small target objects.

Example of processing of difficult-to-cut and fragile materials

1 Fine shape processing on a silicon wafer

We performed high precision processing on a thin fragile material (silicon wafer) utilizing the merits of the ultra-short pulse laser.
Silicon waferSilicon wafer
With machine tools, processing is done by pressing a cutting tool directly onto the workpiece, creating the risk that the material may be damaged due to stress or resistance. However, with ablation processing using an ultra-short pulse laser, high precision processing is possible because no thermal stress or contact resistance is generated.
Elliptical groove processingFine shape processingHoneycomb scribeCantilever

2 Stepped pin processing on ceramic

Next is an example of precision processing performed on ceramic, which is said to be difficult-to-cut and fragile.
Processing on ceramicProcessing on ceramicEnlarged view of stepped pinsEnlarged view of stepped pins
This processing lays out pins of differing heights adjacent to one another, and instead of a laying the pins out in a checkered pattern, they are shifted in the horizontal direction to create a complex shape that is difficult to achieve with normal machine tools.

Other cases

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