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.
- Laser induced plasma micromachining
- Line plasma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanics of Materials
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering