22 July 2008

First UK Commercial 157nm Laser Machining Service

High-resolution precision microengineering of Fluoropolymers, Fused Silica, Quartz, Sapphire, Teflon AF and PEEK is now possible thanks to unique new service.
The first UK commercial service for Laser Micromachining at 157nm has been launched. This service enables companies, around the world, to fabricate microscale features with a high-resolution (Ra ~2nm) finish in parts made from materials that are traditionally difficult to machine.

These materials include Fluoropolymers (PTFE, Teflon AF), Fused silica, Quartz, Sapphire, PEEK and others. Such materials are used for industrial microfluidic, instrumentation, biochip, medical, microreactor and photonic products, where resilient or UV-transmissive materials are needed.

The Xtreme Laser Facility service has opened at the metaFAB micro- & nano-engineering innovation and technology transfer enterprise within Cardiff University School of Engineering.
The facility also accommodates high-power, high-resolution equipment for creating miniature and microscale structures in literally any material ranging from biopolymers to diamond. This new open-access industry facility uses an extremely short-pulse, femtosecond  laser which does not cause any significant thermal heating to the materials machined.

Features sizes of ~2microns in any material are possible. Industries as diverse as instrumentation, tooling, MEMS and medical implants are finding that their products can be differentiated by exploiting this new capability.

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