MENU

Pico second pulse fibre laser for micro-machining application

To develop a high power quasi-cw fibre laser emitting in a visible, uv (ultraviolet) and ir (infrared) wavelength for micro-machining applications.

Today many companies need lasers with innovative specifications to develop their new activities. For micromachining, two common needs stand out in most of the applications: - Short pulse duration lasers to reduce the appearance of melt material during the process. - High repetition rate for precision and speed. Additionally, high power, good beam quality and different specific wavelengths are often required. Regarding laser wavelength, the most commonly used in industry is 1.06 micrometers. Recent developments have demonstrated new applications at 532 nanometres (nm), like deep marking (glass), micro-machining, thin film removal, at 355 nm for polymer or metal machining and in the mid IR for Resonant Infrared Polymer Ablation (RIPA). As a consequence, the project PLASMA 09 proposes to develop a new laser operating in a short pulse and high repetition rate Quasi CW (Coarse Wavelength) regime. The MOPA structure will allow for reaching high optical power in the IR, and external frequency conversion will be employed to generate light in visible, UV and tuneable near and middle IR. The chosen technology is fibre laser. This innovative technology benefits from lots of advantages with respect to other traditional laser sources including compactness, reliability, beam quality, cost effectiveness and flexibility. These characteristics make fibre laser sources very efficient in many applications like micro-machining, high speed marking, solar cell patterning or non-linear optics. Two main applications are targeted here: micro-machining of micro-fluidic polymeric parts for lab-on-chip biomedical applications and manufacturing of the next generation of stents on polymers. The specifications in terms of patterns, speed of the process and roughness of the surface will be provided by FARFIELD for lab-on-chip application. The main difficulty will be to develop a tool suitable for processing softer material like polymers. Both UV and RIPA laser processes will be tested. The first part of the project will be focused on fibre laser development. MULTITEL will develop the seed laser source. This source will consist of a seed fibre laser at 1.06 micrometres operating at a high repetition rate (100 MHz) with a short pulse duration (less then 50ps). This seed source will be amplified up to 50W at 1.06 micrometres with a high power amplification stage with photonic crystal fibres. MULTITEL and EOLITE will be in charge of this part of the work. The second part of the R&D of the project will be dedicated to frequency conversion. EOLITE will be in charge of UV conversion (10W at 355nm). LASERSPEC will specify and develop the Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO) modules to reach a tuneable wavelength higher than 2 micrometres. The last phase of the project will consist of validation tests for the two specific biomedical applications identified: lab-on-chips and stents. This phase will consist of determination of the required ablation thresholds of the materials, and definition of the processing parameters (spot size, speed). LASEA and FARFIELD will be heavily involved in this part of the project. When the optimum process and fibre parameters are identified, the fabrication of a few series will allow for evaluating the tolerances and reproducibility. An optimisation phase based on the validation tests will possibly be added in order to readjust the laser parameters. In terms of deliverables, this project has 5 main objectives: - demonstration of a seed laser source with high repetition rate and short pulse duration, - demonstration of power amplification up to 50W at 1.06 micrometres, - demonstration of frequency conversion down to 355nm (10W), - demonstration of frequency conversion with an OPO module (tuneable or fix wavelength higher than 2 micrometres), - integration and validation of the laser for micro-machining applications: 1- validation for lab-on-chips, 2- fabrication of stents. The consortium is well defined with complementary expertise: - LASERSPEC is an SME manufacturer of OPO (Optical Parametric Oscillator) systems for wavelength conversion and is therefore an ideal candidate for the OPO module exploitation. - EOLITE is an SME manufacturer of high energy fibre lasers that can produce the future fibre laser. - FARFIELD is a company selling biosensors for drug discovery and diagnostics. These partners will bring an industrial point of view to the project and help in defining the laser specifications keeping in mind their present and future applications. - MULTITEL is a research centre active in Applied Photonics and more particularly in fibre lasers. This partner will ensure the coordination of the project and an important part of the development by contributing to the design, amplification, integration and validation of the laser. - LASEA will be in charge of the integration and validation of the laser for marking applications. MULTITEL will be the link between all the partners and ensure coherence in this project.
Acronym: 
PLASMA 09
Project ID: 
4 566
Start date: 
01-01-2009
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 000 000.00€
Technological Area: 
OTHER INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES
Market Area: 
Chemicals and Materials

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.