- Surfaces modifications by laser photo-ablative processes with material removal or not (annealing). High spatial resolution (few micrometers in depth).
- Surfaces photo-treatments (spatial resolution ~2-3 µm) with pre-ablative and ablative laser intensities (application in biology and medicine).
- Micro-drillings on hard/soft, organic/inorganic materials (microfluidic or other microtechnology).
- Laser micro-machining of micro-items with global dimension less than 1 cm. Cutting accuracy ~ 2-3 µm.
- Molecular etching of surfaces (no substrate damage) by laser ablation to remove a coating or an oxide layer : paints, varnishes, lacquers, … This technique can be applied to the conservation/restorationof historic monuments.
Aimed specific applications :
The laser micro-machining allows to create patterns whose dimensions and accuracy are on a scale of micron. There are 3 main lasers types :
- Infrared lasers (IR), for which the interaction with the substrate is thermal, provide a high-speed machining. The thickness brings into play at each laser pulse varies from few microns to few millimeters
- Ultraviolet lasers (UV), for which the interaction with organic/biological materials is based on photo-ablative processes. The sample thickness brings into play at each laser pulse is micrometric. In this case, the micro-machining is slow. In return, ultraviolet wavelengths allow to access to a better resolution than infrared wavelengths power densities between 1 and 100 GW/cm²)
- Short-pulse lasers (picosecond) and ultra-short pulse lasers (femtosecond) for which the laser pulse brevity minimizes thermal effects (high-accuracy machining, particularly adapted to the construction of patterns from 10 µm to 1 mm, with a spatial resolution of 1 µm. The thickness brings into play at each laser pulse is micrometric. The narrow pulse brevity can reach power densities between 1 and 100 TW/cm².
Among fiber lasers advantages, we can cite:
- the high quality of their beam
- their monolithic construction minimizing opto-mechanical adjustments to be made
- their high output powers
- their compactness
- their high output efficiency and low energy consumption