Ultra-short-pulse lasers process throughput is limited by the interaction with the material
Micromachining processes are typically performed with short or ultra-short pulsed lasers – typically few nanoseconds down to femtosecond range. In this regime, there is an optimal energy for a given process providing maximum ablation rate per watt of power and optimal quality [[i]]. Beyond this level, ablation rate drops; the excess energy is contributing to degraded quality as it heats the target material. This phenomenon is a major bottleneck to increase throughput: there is a trade-off to be determined between throughput and quality. One practical consequence is that users may buy an expensive 50W picosecond laser and run it at 10W for their process, therefore wasting 80% of their investment…
[i] B. Neuenschwander & al., Surface structuring with ultra-short laser pulses: Basics, limitations and needs for high throughput, 8th International Conference on Photonic Technologies LANE 2014
Multibeam technology : no more trade-off between throughput and quality
Multibeam programmable beam shaping allows to scale up the productivity of the micromachining process with the parallelization, while making full use of the capital investment. And it does it in a flexible way, as the “laser tool” – by analogy to the standard mechanical tool – can be digitally switched by software.
Laser can always run at full power with each of the beamlet operating at the optimal processing point, no matter the material or the optical configuration: there is no more trade-off between throughput and quality!