Ekspla lasers are being used in developing new and promising applications in Materials Processing. Techniques including Laser-assisted Selective Copper Deposition on Polymers and Laser Photopolymerisation are finding rapid niche growth. Ekspla has recently added ten new short articles outlining new applications for Laser Materials Processing here. It is part of the Ekspla Applications article library

Laser-assisted Selective Copper Deposition on Polymers

Fabrication of circuit traces is the most challenging task in Moulded interconnect devices (MID) production, being both technically difficult to achieve and difficult to make cost effectively. Moulded interconnect devices (MID) – an injection-moulded thermoplastic part with integrated electronics – offer material, weight and cost savings by integrating electronic circuits directly into polymeric components. Selective Surface Activation Induced by Laser (SSAIL) is a new technology for writing electronic circuits directly onto the dielectric material. This is done by modifying the surface properties with a picosecond pulse laser and has been developed at the Center for physical sciences and technology. Picosecond lasers can write the circuits directly by modifying the surface of polymers followed by an electroless metal plating. SSAIL is a three-step process. First is surface modification by laser; second is chemical activation of the modified areas; and the last step is metal deposition by electroless plating. The new technology offers laser writing speeds of up to 4m/s, and therefore spatial plating pitch is kept narrow at 25 µm.

Recommended Laser: Ekspla Atlantic Series High Power Industrial Picosecond Lasers

Photopolymerization

Photopolymerization is a powerful and versatile light-activated resin solidification process. It is attractive for the fabrication of complex micrometer-size three-dimensional (3D) structures by employing nanosecond as well as picosecond lasers. Many fabrication techniques of polymeric microstructures are based on photopolymerization via photolithography, digital light processing lithography, rapid prototyping, multi-photon polymerization, 3D printing, interference lithography, etc. Polymeric microstructures with a prescribed shape and thickness are desirable for a wide range of applications: tissue engineering, electronics and optics, coating, adhesives, drug delivery, microfluidics and surface science.

Source: E. Stankevičius, E. Daugnoraitė, etc. Mechanism of pillars formation using four-beam interference lithography. Optics and Lasers in Engineering 116, 41-46 (2019).\

Recommended Laser: Ekspla Atlantic Series High Power Industrial Picosecond Lasers

Ekspla ND230 High Energy Q-switched DPSS Nd:YAG Lasers

Bio-inspired Shark-skin-like Surface Structuring

Top view (a) and cross-sectional (b) scanning electron microscope micrographs of laser ablated shark-skin-like riblet structures on pre-heated Teflon

Bio-inspired surfaces decrease friction with gases and the most recognizable textures are shark-skin-like riblets. Such surfaces can be formed using  direct laser ablation with high flexibility options. The bio-inspired riblet surfaces were formed using picosecond ultraviolet laser ablation on pre-heated Teflon at various sample temperatures. The ablation of hot Teflon was found to be 30% more efficient than the conventional laser structuring at room temperature. The functional properties and surface morphologies of the laser-fabricated textures were found to be close to the simplified geometry of shark-skin. The friction of structured Teflon surfaces with the flowing air was investigated using a drag measurement setup.

Source: A. Žemaitis, J. Mikšys, etc. High-efficiency laser fabrication of drag reducing riblet surfaces on pre-heated Teflon. Materials Research Express 6, 065309 (2019).

Recommended Laser: Ekspla Atlantic Series High Power Industrial Picosecond Lasers

Ekspla Atlantic 6 Compact Air-cooled Industrial Picosecond Laser

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