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.
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.
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.
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.
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.