Wide-Range Taper Angle Control in Ultrafast Laser Micromachining

ALIO’s Hybrid Hexapod® takes a different approach to traditional 6 Degree of Freedom (6-DOF) positioning devices, and exhibits much higher performance at extremely competitive prices.

(Arvada, CO, USA 12th August 2019) 6-D Laser, LLC (a member of ALIO Industries' motion control and micromachining family of companies) has developed an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines high-speed galvo scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of ALIO's Hybrid Hexapod®.


ALIO's Hybrid Hexapod® takes a different approach to traditional 6 Degree of Freedom (6-DOF) positioning devices, and exhibits much higher performance at extremely competitive prices. Rather than 6 independent legs (and 12 connection joints) ALIO's approach combines a precision XY monolithic stage, tripod, and continuous rotation theta-Z axis to provide superior overall performance.

The combination of serial and parallel kinematics at the heart of ALIO's 6-D Nano Precision® is characterized by orders-of-magnitude improvements (when compared to traditional hexapods) in precision, path performance, speed, and stiffness The Hybrid Hexapod® also has a larger work envelope than traditional hexapods with virtually unlimited XY travel and fully programmable tool center point locations. The Hybrid Hexapod® has less than 100 nm Point Precision® repeatability, in 3-dimensional space.

Introducing an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines the positioning capabilities of the Hybrid Hexapod®, with high-speed optical scanning leads to a system that can process hard, transparent materials with wide-range taper angle control for the creation of high aspect ratio features in thick substrates, without limitations on the feature or field size.

Ultrafast laser ablative processes, which remove material in a layer-by-layer process, result in machined features that have a significant side wall taper. For example, a desired cylindrical hole will have a conical profile. Taper formation is difficult to avoid in laser micromachining processes that are creating deep features (> 100 microns). Precision scanheads can create features with near-zero angle side walls, however, they are limited to small angles of incidence (AOI) and small field sizes by the optics in the beamline. 6-D Laser's micromachining system controls the AOI and resulting wall taper angle through the Hybrid Hexapod® motion system, and the programmable tool center point allows for the control of the AOI over the entire galvo scan field, enabling the processing of large features.

FIGURES

Figure 1. High speed galvo-scanning with the novel positioning capabilities of the ALIO Hybrid Hexapod®.

Figures 2a & 2b. 3D laser scanning confocal microscope image of a sapphire wafer (450 microns thick). A square feature was machined in the wafer with an ultrafast laser while controlling the AOI with the Hybrid Hexapod. The result is a wall taper angle of less than 0.5 degrees over a total feature size of 10 x 10 mm.

About ALIO Industries
ALIO is an expert innovator producing best-in-class "made in America" motion control technologies, and has achieved undisputed market-leadership and pre-eminence through a reputation built on honesty, integrity, reliability, and trust, coupled with an obsessive focus and passion to deliver ground-breaking and exceptionally high-quality motion control solutions for our customers. The company works with customers that require the best, and command an unparalleled level of expertise and a breadth of experience born out of 18 years at the vanguard of innovation in areas of engineering where razor-sharp attention to quality and reliability are vital.

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