The system, which is the outcome of a joint research effort of the project partners, utilizes a “cold ablation” process, allowing manufacturing of medical products or sensors used in the automotive industry with an unsurpassed level of precision.
Ultra Short Pulse laser technology is relatively new and so far has mostly been used in research laboratories. Laser pulses as short as a few pico seconds (1 pico second = 0.000000000001 second) reveal surprising properties when applied to solid matter. In particular they can remove or ablate small amounts of material in a “cold” manner which means that virtually no heat is transferred into the work piece. The single laser pulses can be placed on the surface of any material at a high frequency and in an extremely precise way. As a result, microscopic structures such as holes, cuts or recesses can be fabricated precisely, avoiding all disadvantages of mechanical machining or thermal impact on the material.
Based on this new technology, experts expect a huge number of new applications to come up during the next few years. Precondition to this, however, is the availability of production-style USP laser machine systems that are suited to transfer the novel laser processes from the laboratory into industrial production. Consequently, the completion and commissioning of the USP laser machine as a part of the GCS research project is a very important step towards an industrial exploitation of this promising technology.