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Keynote Speaker:

Dr Martin Sharp

Photonics in Engineering Research Group, Liverpool John Moores University, & President of the Association of Laser Users (AILU)

Tuesday 25th September 2012
1.30pm in MM Live Theatre

Laser Processes for Micro Applications

Dr Martin Sharp is an industrialist turned academic. Having joined the General Engineering Research Institute (GERI) at Liverpool John Moores Univeristy and is now currently setting up a Photonics in Engineering research group. Formerly, Martin was at the Lairdside Laser Engineering Centre.

Lasers are tried and tested tools for micro manufacturing. In fact the potential for lasers to process at the micron scale was quickly recognised after the initial demonstrations of lasers in the early 60's. The development of new laser types continues unabated, and many of these lasers are ideally suited for micro applications including micromachining and surface texturing. Developments in beam delivery optics and the higher average powers available have also made significant improvements in processing rates.

This talk will give an overview of the current well-established applications, and the laser sources employed. In particular it will examine the use of lasers for fine cutting, microhole drilling, micromachining and surface texturing. It will then introduce some of the more recent developments in laser processing technology and identify the potential applications that will be enabled by these developments. In particular, it will examine the impact of fibre laser technology in fine cutting and other precision applications, the increasing average powers becoming available in picosecond and femtosecond lasers that are now allowing for viable production rates, and introduce some novel beam delivery concepts that allow for processing larger areas at realistic rates.