High-speed fabrication of microchannels using line-based laser induced plasma micromachining

Ishan Saxena, Rajiv Malhotra, Kornel Ehmann, Jian Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microtexturing of surfaces has various applications that often involve texturing over large (macroscale) areas with high precision and resolution. This demands scalability and speed of texturing while retaining feature sizes of the order of a few microns. Microchannels are a versatile microfeature, which are often used in microfluidic devices and can be arrayed or joined to form patterns and free-form geometries. We present a technique to fabricate microchannels on surfaces with high-speed and by using a multimaterial process, namely, laser induced plasma micromachining (LIPMM). The process has the potential to machine metals, ceramics, polymers, and other transparent, brittle, and hard-to-machine materials. The presented technique uses an optical system to modify the laser spot into the shape of a line, to fabricate microchannels directly without scanning as in the case of a regular circular spot. The process schematics are shown, and micromachining experiments on polished aluminum are discussed. Moreover, it is shown that the depth and width of the channels may be varied by changing process parameters like the pulse energy, pulse frequency, and number of exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021006
JournalJournal of Micro and Nano-Manufacturing
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Laser induced plasma micromachining
  • Line plasma
  • Microchannels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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