LIDE in the Lead

The laser induced deep etching (LIDE) process by LPKF is a two-step process. In the first step, the glass is locally laser-modified according to the desired layout. In a second process step, the modified areas of the glass are removed much more rapidly than the unmodified material is. (Source: LPKF)

Since April 2017, LaserMicronics has been using the laser-induced deep etching (LIDE) technology – and is thus at the forefront of micromachining of glass. LPKF has developed LIDE especially for processing the thinnest glass. Ultra-thin glass up to 500 μm can be drilled and cut easily, quickly and precisely with the LIDE technology – a two-stage process consisting of laser processing and chemical processing. The unique point: The processed glass remains free of microcracks and tensions. With this stability, the material can also be used in industrial areas where it was previously considered too fragile.

Multilayer microfluidic glass chip (Source: LaserMicronics)

LaserMicronics has been successfully using this awarded method for more than nine months now. With the Vitrion 5000 laser system, the LaserMicronics specialists modify the glass for the subsequent etching process. The quality of the results is convincing. “Some companies are still uncertain about using glass as a substrate because of its susceptibility to microcracks or stresses. When we prove how precise the holes and cuts in the glass are and that the glass remains stable, it becomes very interesting over and over again. The fact that glass can score points over silicon in terms of cost is also an additional persuasive factor,” says managing director Thomas Nether. And he adds: “We see ourselves as pioneers in this new technology.”

LaserMicronics specializes in laser cutting and drilling of a wide variety of materials for applications in microelectronics and medical technology. Micro-material processing or laser plastics welding has always been in focus – whether it’s for creating flexible conductor materials, fine layer systems or robust ceramic materials. With the processing of ultra-thin glass, LaserMicronics has opened up a new field of application. “We are looking forward to completely new applications that we can implement for our customers,” says Nether. (Source: LaserMicronics)

Link: LaserMicronics GmbH, Garbsen, Germany • LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, Garbsen, Germany

Further reading: Award-Winning Technology for Micro Processing of Glass, photonicsviews.com, 1st December 2017

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