Multibeam drilling: 12,000 holes per second with 1 µm diameter
A new generation of ultrafast process technology is on the market. Higher average laser power and greater pulse energy promise higher throughput and efficiency. When processing microfilters, for example, this enables drilling of hole sizes down to below one micrometer with more than 10,000 holes/sec.
When ultrafast processes are scaled up, some non-trivial interaction mechanisms have to be taken into account. One option to make use high pulse energies is the multibeam concept, which involves splitting a single laser beam into many beamlets. Fraunhofer ILT has been working on this technology since 2012. With diffractive optical elements (DOE), more than 200 partial beams can be used selectively in micro- and nanostructuring – for a precision down to the sub-micrometer range.