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Appl Opt. 2002 Sep 20;41(27):5660-7.

Effect of vaporization and melt ejection on laser machining of silica glass micro-optical components.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.


A new regime for silica glass machining for micro-optical fabrication applications, which uses pulsed CO2 laser radiation in the 2.5-100-micros pulse width region that has been generated by an acousto-optic modulator, is investigated. A filamentary melt ejection process that generates fibers and significant melt displacement limits machining quality below 30-micros pulse width. Ablation and melt ejection thresholds are quantified relative to pulse width, and the region from 30 to 50 micros is identified for low-threshold, smooth machining without melt displacement and ejection effects.

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