Luxinar improves edge quality in high-precision thin film cutting

SR AOM sealed CO2 laser sources with acousto-optic modulator improve edge quality in high-precision thin film cutting applications.

The SR 10 AOM and SR 25 AOM, both available at a wavelength of 9.3µm and with rated powers of 150W for the SR 25 AOM and 75W for the SR 10 AOM, form part of the SR series of sealed CO2 laser sources from Luxinar. The integrated acousto-optic modulator (AOM) creates optical rise and fall times of less than 1µs which minimises unnecessary heat energy during processing compared with typical pulse rise/fall times of approximately 60µs; this creates a sharper cut with a reduced heat-affected zone (HAZ).

The AOM range provides superior pulse-to-pulse control and output power stability, ideal for various thin film cutting applications. The unique pulse-on-demand technology enables accurate and constant hole pitch at varying speeds during acceleration of the motion system.

Flat panel display cutting

Polarised and capacitive films for the tablet and phone industry are cut using a CO₂ laser with AOM. In some cases, the film may be mounted on glass, and must be kiss cut without damage to the substrate.  In others the film is unsupported, and must be cut cleanly, with minimal debris and HAZ.

When cutting these thin layered films with a standard CO₂ laser, which typically produces longer pulse rise/fall times of approximately 60μs, a large HAZ remains after processing.  However, a CO₂ laser with AOM reduces this HAZ and results in better edge quality.

In addition, when compared to a pulsed laser, the AOM achieves a significant reduction in the melted area which can cause film layers to stick together.  With a SR AOM laser, layers no longer stick together, thus creating an easy-peel protection film layer. Results are similar to a picosecond UV laser but with significantly lower investment and maintenance costs.

Polymer-dispersed liquid crystal display (PDLCD) cuttting

PDLCD screens can be used in various applications, such as meeting room windows, to provide privacy by changing between transparent and non-transparent states.

Layers in the film are sensitive to heat which causes discoloration and poor edge quality if cut with a standard CO₂ laser.  When cutting with a 9.3µm CO₂ laser with AOM, edge quality is smooth and discoloration is greatly reduced.

Backlight unit (BLU) patterning

A CO₂ laser can be used with an AOM to create a consistent backlighting pattern on PMMA (acrylic) material. The AOM allows the user to control the energy within each pulse when processing to give uniform light distribution across the finished piece.

Yannick Galais, Sales Director at Luxinar, explains: “Due to its precise pulse control, the SR AOM series is ideal for a variety of high precision processes such as microfilm cutting in the flat panel display market and scribing, engraving, marking and surface patterning applications that need less HAZ.  Other thin film applications, including those in the automotive, electronics, lighting and flexible packaging industries, can benefit from the higher quality cutting edge which the SR AOM offers when compared to standard pulsed CO2 lasers.”

Contact: Yannick Galais