Laser Material Processing

Fiber lasers are being adopted in industry very rapidly. In the area of laser material processing, using ultra fast lasers for precise and thermal-damage-free material removal are highly demanded. Unfortunately, a major limitation arises from the low speeds at which material can be ablated, in addition to the complexity of the required laser technology. In particular, the former limits possible usage scenarios in medical applications, where lasers, to date, have been prohibitively slow in comparison to mechanical methods of tissue removal for the majority of usage scenarios. Much of the complexity in laser design is due to high pulse energy threshold required for efficient ablation.We have recently demonstrated a new regime of laser material removal by applying extremely high repetition rate pulses (GHz range), at low pulse energy (nJ range) to ablate the target material before the residual heat deposited by previous pulses diffuses away from the targeted region. Experimental results obtained with 10 different materials indicate that we are able to increase the ablation efficiency by an order of magnitude.