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Nanosecond, picosecond, femtosecond fiber lasers in micromachining

The goal of micromachining is to achieve high-quality results in the shortest time possible and in the most economical way. Laser machining can achieve all of these goals — it can achieve localized, high-quality, precise machining. However, the right choice of laser is crucial to achieving high-yield, economical process.
Laser micromachining is heavily used in mobile devices, where the demand to make smaller, lighter, lower-cost mobile devices has required laser processes that can meet this challenge. Other areas of application include medical device manufacturing,  clean energy, automotive, and aerospace.
One of the most important factors that affect the machining results is laser pulse width. It affects the precision, quality, and economics of the process. The most used fiber laser types that are used in micromachining are femtosecond fiber lasers, picosecond fiber lasers, and nanosecond fiber lasers.
Nanosecond fiber lasers result in higher throughput due to a higher rate of material removal when compared to picosecond fiber lasers and femtosecond fiber lasers, because most of the material removal takes place by melting. After being heated to its melting temperature, the material evaporates. The precision of nanosecond fiber lasers may suffer due to the melted material clinging to the edges of the machined feature and its solidification. In addition, some of the melted material often splashes around the machined feature which creates poor quality of machining.
The use of picosecond fiber lasers improves molten material splashing around the laser-machined edges and molten material buildup. Moreover, the material removal threshold is much lower for picosecond fiber lasers. However, cutting and drilling processes are executed at a much higher fluence that the material removal threshold and nanosecond fiber lasers provide higher throughput that picosecond lasers.
The choice between femtosecond and picosecond lasers depends on the material used, quality requirements, and economic considerations. Generally, femtosecond fiber lasers provide higher quality micro machining, but the higher costs of femtosecond lasers is a serious consideration. Both femtosecond and picosecond lasers provide high peak power and lower material removal.
Overall, the choice of the right fiber laser wavelength depends on the materials to be processed, the desired quality, and cost requirements. Generally, nanosecond lasers offer an economical, higher-throughput solution, whereas picosecond and femtosecond lasers provide high-quality machining of thin, transparent materials.
Optromix Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, is a manufacturer of laser technologies, optical fiber sensors, and optical monitoring systems. We manufacture lasers using our own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of international R&D team.Laser processes are high quality, high precision, easily-automated manufacturing solutions that provide repeatability and flexibility. If you have any questions about femtosecond and picosecond fiber lasers please contact us at