High-precision surface structuring with ultrashort laser pulses

25.01.2023 A relief map of Switzerland that is only a few hair’s breadths across? No problem for the Institute for Applied Laser, Photonics and Surface Technologies. Rose Mary, a research associate at the institute, created the relief map of Switzerland using ultrashort laser pulses in chrome steel, to a micrometre scale.

In the context of a research project, ALPS is working on the use of ultrashort laser pulses to create small structures. To demonstrate the high precision and resolution that can be achieved, images have now been created showing various structures in chrome steel. A special lens from Pulsar Photonics is used, which produces an extremely small focus (diameter 1.3µm). In a collaboration with the Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems I3S at BFH, the ALPS researchers have developed a special synchronisation between the laser and the galvo scanner that makes the ultra-precise surface structures possible.

Areas of application

The technology can be applied in many different ways. Conceivable uses include the application of special surface structures to tools, micro-moulds in injection moulding machines or micro-markings as security features or to protect a brand.

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