Femto to short pulse: new precision in industrial production

ROFIN takes ultrashort-pulsed laser processing to the next level

StarFemto FX

Figure 1: The StarFemto FX allows an up to now unkown precision and acuteness in laser material processing without thermal damage

April 18, 2013

Hamburg, Munich/Germany, April 18, 2013: Introducing the new StarFemto FX, the world-leading laser manufacturer paves the way for cold laser material processing in a fast growing field of applications. The new ultrashort-pulsed laser source completes ROFIN's femto to short pulsed laser product lineup, now consisting of StarFemto FX, StarPico and PowerLine Pico. The lasers will be integrated into the manufacturer's market-leading turnkey solutions, notably the modular processing system MPS and the fine cutting workstation StarCut Tube.

A wealth of experience with industrial ultrashort-pulsed laser applications
Ultrashort-pulsed laser processing never is an end in itself. Following it's philosophy as an open minded consultant, ROFIN always compares the benefits of femto- and picosecond lasers for a certain application against conventional beam sources. ROFIN has been evaluating and realizing industrial pico- and femtosecond laser solutions for more than 8 years now. Since then, numerous systems have been installed and the application range was significantly expanded from the medical device market into many other major industries.

StarFemto FX
Figure 2: The cutting of biodegradable materials e.g. polymer stents with strut width of 100 μm

The demand for ultra-precise material processing tools for miniaturized components is rapidly growing. But frequently, processing of minuscule parts made of alloys, ceramics or polymers is difficult and implies a high risk of unwanted damage. Ultrashort-pulsed lasers cut, drill and structure virtually any material with micron-scale precision and without any thermal damage, i.e. no burr and recast. This allows to realize previously impossible features and reduces post processing to zero or an absolute minimum.

Unmatched pulse peak power and flexibility
The new StarFemto FX offers a stabilized pulse energy of up to 200 μJ which results in a pulse peak power of up to 660 MW. Pulse repetition rate ranges from single pulses to 1 MHz. With an adjustable pulse width between 300 fs and 10 ps it covers the entire femto- and picosecond regime used for material processing. The laser source comes with a fundamental wavelength of 1030 nm. First and second harmonic wavelengths of 515 nm and 343 nm are available as an option. Therefore there is virtually no restriction on material choice.

Next generation material processing tools
With StarFemto FX, StarPico, PowerLine Pico and the X-Lase products, ROFIN offers a complete product-lineup of ultrashort-pulsed laser sources and turnkey-solutions combined with also a wealth of application experience as well as worldwide after-sales support. With their unprecedented precision and processing quality, ultrashort-pulsed lasers are perfect tools for innovative applications in the electronics, semiconductor, micro technology and medical device manufacturing industry. All systems are designed for tough industrial use (24/7).

Figure 3: Also the cutting of brittle materials e.g. saphire in any geometries is for the sophisticated ROFIN Laser uncritical

800 Picosecond Short Pulsed Laser for Marking and Micro Material Processing
The new air-cooled PowerLine Pico completes ROFIN's ultrashort pulsed laser lineup (besides StarFemto and StarPico). The laser is available in two configurations: as an all-purpose laser source and as laser marking solution.

High processing speeds
With a pulse length of 800 ps and maximum pulse energy of 40 μJ the PowerLine Pico is an efficient tool for marking, engraving and thin film ablation and structuring. The exceptionally high pulse frequency of 200 to 800 KHz offers high throughput and allows for maximum pulse overlapping, like structuring of thin films in solar cell manufacturing with >95% pulse overlap at 1500 mm/s (Figure 5).

The new laser source features a linear polarized and collimated output beam with 1064 nm wavelength. Additionally ROFIN offers the laser with second and third harmonic wavelength (532 and 355 nm).

Figure 4: Conventional Processing with 30% pulse overlap at 1500 mm/s and 30 kHz

Figure 5: Processing with PowerLine Pico with 97% pulse overlap at 1500 mm/s and 600 kHz

Precise and gentle material processing
Compared to nanosecond sources, the picosecond pulse length significantly reduces thermal damage in adjacent material. This results in better ablation quality, less surface roughness and enhanced precision of selective layer ablation. Furthermore, the shorter pulses significantly help reducing thermal penetration depth of delicate ablation processes, like marking of silicon. The new laser source perfectly meets the requirements of various applications in wafer production, medical device manufacturing and micro material processing, just to name a few.

Compact all-in-one laser source
Thanks to its compact all-in-one design, the new PowerLine Pico easily integrates into customer specific production environments. TCP/IP, USB and RS 422 interfaces facilitate setup and control. Up-to-date fiber laser technology and single emitter diodes provide high overall efficiency.

Excellent material processing quality
ROFIN's new picosecond laser combines excellent processing quality and precision with minimum maintenance requirements. The PowerLine Pico is powerful material processing tool, particularly for miniaturized parts and sensitive materials.

ROFIN presents different lasers from its femto to short pulsed laser product range at the “LASER World of Photonics” from May 13 to 16, 2013 in Munich (Hall C2, booth 327).

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