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Research Papers

Multimaterial Capability of Laser Induced Plasma Micromachining

[+] Author and Article Information
Ishan Saxena

Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: ishan@u.northwestern.edu

Kornel F. Ehmann

Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road, B224,
Evanston, IL 60201
e-mail: k-ehmann@northwestern.edu

This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received April 1, 2014; final manuscript received May 29, 2014; published online July 8, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Hongqiang Chen.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 2(3), 031005 (Jul 08, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: JMNM-14-1020; doi: 10.1115/1.4027811 History: Received April 01, 2014; Revised May 29, 2014

Presently surface microtexturing has found many promising applications in the fields of tribology, biomedical engineering, metal cutting, and other functional or topographical surfaces. Most of these applications are material-specific, which necessitates the need for a texturing and machining process that surpasses the limitations posed by a certain class of materials that are difficult to process by laser ablation, owing to their optical or other surface or bulk characteristics. Laser induced plasma micromachining (LIPMM) has emerged as a promising alternative to direct laser ablation for micromachining and microtexturing, which offers superior machining characteristics while preserving the resolution, accuracy and tool-less nature of laser ablation. This study is aimed at understanding the capability of LIPMM process to address some of the issues faced by pulsed laser ablation in material processing. This paper experimentally demonstrates machining of optically transmissive, reflective, and rough surface materials using LIPMM. Apart from this, the study includes machining of conventional metals (nickel and titanium) and polymer (polyimide), to demonstrate higher obtainable depth and reduced heat-affected distortion around microfeatures machined by LIPMM, as compared to laser ablation.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of LIPMM process

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Fig. 2

Plasma plume inside the dielectric media (beam incident from the top)

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Fig. 3

Microchannel on the surface of transparent alumina ceramic

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Fig. 4

SEM image of cross section of microchannel fabricated on edge of alumina ceramic sample

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Fig. 5

Microchannel machined on silicon substrate, three-dimensional and cross section view

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Fig. 6

Schematic representation of microchannel fabrication at different positions of focal spot with respect to workpiece surface

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Fig. 7

Surface image of microchannels machined by laser ablation on 304L steel at different positions of laser focal spot with respect to workpiece surface

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Fig. 8

Cross section profiles of microchannels machined on rough finish 304L steel using (a) laser ablation and (b) LIPMM, at different positions of laser focal spot with respect to workpiece surface

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Fig. 9

Optical views of microchannels machined on polyimide, using (a) LIPMM and (b) laser ablation

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Fig. 10

Cross section profiles of channels made on polyimide by LIPMM

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Fig. 11

Microchannels machined on nickel, using (a) laser ablation and (b) LIPMM

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Fig. 12

Depths of microchannels as a function of pulse energy, for the case of LIPMM and laser ablation

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Fig. 13

Schematic of methodology for machining a typical multipass channel by translating the plasma plume or laser focal spot

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Fig. 14

Microchannels on titanium: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, and 32 passes, respectively, from left to right, fabricated by: (a) LIPMM and (b) laser ablation

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Fig. 15

Cross section profiles for single and multipass channels on titanium corresponding to Fig. 14

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