NEWS

Femto-second laser machining: electromagnetic wave of the future?

May 14, 2020, 01:57 PM

Recent developments in laser and optics technology are improving our ability to support multiple applications worldwide due to vastly improved speed times. Femto-second laser machining provides high-laser power, short pulse durations and faster scanning speeds, allowing our systems to be used more effectively than in the past.

Femto-second lasering is also fascinating to watch at work! The laser emits pulses every 400 x 10 ^ -15  second.  That’s faster than the time required for atoms to vibrate! The energy of the pulse needs to be high enough to both excite theatoms over the laser and to drive off electrons in outer shells.  The resulting positive charge occurs prior to vibration, causing an explosion on the surface. The explosion drives off the atoms, ultimately turning the atoms into plasma.  Given the atoms do not have time to vibrate, this machining process happens at room temperature resulting in a no-heat affected zone.  This is important because no-heat means thermal stresses are removed and the potential for flaws like cracks are eliminated.

“I didn’t believe the process could be done at room temperature until I saw it with my own eyes,” Danny Kessler, Mechanical Engineer II, said. “The machine drilled a hole in glass and I was able to immediately hold that same glass in my hand.”

But these updates in laser technology are just the beginning. Ceramics are also a major area of focus with our team already demonstrating that Femto-second lasers can laser holes in materials as hard as a diamond with virtually no material imperfections.

With more potential well beyond the current scope of work, Femto-second lasers are providing state-of-the-art research and development that will push our technology into the next generation.

Femto_second Laser
 
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© 2015—2020 Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC, pursuant to Prime Contract DE-NA0002839
The U.S. Department of Energy is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended in 1998. Send feedback or concerns related to the accessibility of this website to DOE Section 508 Coordinator mailbox.