Short Pulse Laser suits micromachining applications.

Press Release Summary:




With fundamental wavelength of 1 micron, Staccato laser delivers 13 psec long, diffraction-limited pulses with peak power of 38 megawatts. It is available in harmonic wavelengths of 532, 355, and 266 nm. With UV wavelength, laser can have beam focused to spots of ~2 microns. Laser does not leave behind heat affected zone, operates at rates to 100,000 pps, and has 1 x 0.8 m laser head. Electronic rack is 5 ft tall and houses controller, power supply, and chiller.



Original Press Release:



Micromachining with Lasers Keeps Reducing the Size of the Hole, Cut, or Treated Area



St. Charles, MO: Micromachining with lasers keeps reducing the size of the hole, cut, or treated area, and that is important for many products. For instance, there are times when a hole in a catheter or a time-release capsule must be 10 micron ± 1 micron (0.0004 inches ± 0.00004 inches). Or the circuit path has to be exact within a micron. And there are times when the task at hand requires 40 megawatts of peak power.

(25 micros = one thousandth of an inch.)

Lasers can deliver this performance.

Such delicate tasks have in the past often been attempted using lasers with long pulses, and often the consistency of the hole size was unacceptable. There is now a short-pulsed laser that is an exciting alternative which can deliver these fine features. It is the Staccato laser. The fundamental wavelength of the Staccato is 1 micron.

The Staccato laser delivers 13 picosecond (0.000000000013 seconds) long, diffraction limited pulses with as high as 38 megawatts of peak power, far higher peak power than most conventional industrial lasers can deliver.

The Staccato laser is also available in the harmonic wavelengths of 532, 355 and 266 nm. This is important because with the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength, the laser can have its beam focused to spots of approximately 2 microns (0.00008 inches).

The Staccato offers additional revolutionary improvements. When used for cutting metals or other materials such as plastics, the laser does not leave behind a "heat affected zone" (HAZ) that is common with longer pulsed lasers. This HAZ is material that gets melted by the laser beam and then recasts when it cools. It usually is very jagged, and after it recasts, the durability of that portion of the metal or plastic parts is radically altered due to the HAZ.

The Staccato's high peak power translates to none of this troublesome HAZ.

Another tremendous improvement the Staccato offers is very high repetition rate. Most ultrafast or femtosecond lasers which are able to do similar kinds of high quality processing have a limited processing speed because their repetition rate is often 1000 pulses per second, or at most, 3000 pulses per second. The Staccato operates as high as 100,000 pulses per second. This translates into a much higher production processing rate for lower production costs.

The Staccato is industrially rugged. It was designed for use in a factory setting. There are some ultrafast lasers that simply cannot be placed in the factory because they need a very controlled environment to work properly, but the Staccato does not have this problem.

The Staccato is an exciting potential solution for some micromachining requirements, but it is not a tool that will replace conventional lasers. Generally, if laser users are happy with the quality of the cut, hole, etc., they can achieve with a conventional laser, there is no reason to think about testing the Staccato. The Staccato is more expensive than many of the other micromachining lasers, but with the speed at which it can process materials, it still will potentially offer micromachining users cost savings.

Samples can be sent to RPMC, sellers of the Staccato product in North America. Contact them via their website: www.rpmclasers.com or by sending an email to them at rpmc@rpmclasers.com.

For further information contact Chuck Ratermann at 636 219 8836 or send email to rpmc@rpmclasers.com.

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