Application - Laser Ablation

Laser ablation is the process of precision layer removal by a laser. This could be the removal of a wide-range of materials ranging from solid metals, ceramics and industrial compounds all the way through to biological tissue for use in cancer treatment. Ablation is popularly used in applications such as elements used within electronic products (e.g. semi-conductors and micro-processors) by irradiation with a Laser beam.  The absolute precision of Fiber Lasers comes to the forefront with laser ablation, a process which has many similarities to some of the laser cleaning processes.

Laser Ablation Explained

 

Laser ablation operates at the surface of an object and removes material from this surface with the absolute minimum of disturbance and heat transfer. Material removed could be a contaminant or perhaps a thin layer, ablation is particularly popular in thin film removal. The level of ablation can easily be varied based upon the material in use the laser beam intensity, the length of the pulse and also the wavelength of the laser used.

An Environmentally Friendly Approach

 

Laser ablation is a much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly technique than non-laser ablation methods such as dry ice blasting. Using no solvents and chemicals at all, the approach can be an effective ally to an organisation in reducing their carbon footprint.

The Ablation Process

 

At low Laser flux, the material is heated by the absorbed Laser energy and evaporates or sublimates. At high Laser flux, the material is typically converted to a plasma. Usually, Laser ablation refers to removing material with a Pulsed Fiber Laser, but it is possible to ablate material with a continuous wave Laser if the Laser intensity is high enough.

Laser Ablation from SPI Lasers

 

SPI Lasers can offer laser ablation with both our pulsed lasers and continuous wave laser range. It is an environmentally friendly process that is much gentler than using abrasive techniques; and the heating of the target is minimal. Read our application insights and postcards for further information, which provide in-depth guides to numerous ablation strategies.

‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications.
‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.

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Laser ablation is being used here for the thin film removal of oxide from titanium

What is Laser Ablation?

Application Insight
Posted on 09/09/2016

Laser ablation is the process by which layers are removed from solid metals and industrial compounds using a laser beam for ultimate precision. The beam will irradiate the surface, meaning that it has been exposed to... read more >

Laser ablation is used to treat many cancers, and is becoming a more viable solution for treating prostate cancer

Benefits of Laser Ablation

Application Insight
Posted on 09/09/2016

Laser ablation is a process by which a laser beam is focused on a specific area of solid metal or industrial compound to remove a layer or layers of materials. Due to the advancements in fiber laser technology, the laser ablation process itself can... read more >

Thin Film Removal

Thin Film Removal

Application Insight
Posted on 14/10/2015

Thin film removal is the process of removing a very thin layer of material from a substrate. This process is used in a variety of different application areas, the most common being in the electronics and semiconductors industries.Our redENERGY... read more >

Etching Silver on Ceramic

Etching Silver on Ceramic

Application Postcard
Posted on 14/10/2015

Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to isolate thick bright metal plating on top of ceramic. This allows users to quickly and cleanly create islands of electrical isolation which can then be used as substrates for electronic... read more >