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Micromachines 2017, 8(4), 110; doi:10.3390/mi8040110

Selective Laser-Induced Etching of 3D Precision Quartz Glass Components for Microfluidic Applications—Up-Scaling of Complexity and Speed

LightFab GmbH, Campus-Boulevard 79, 52074 Aachen, Germany
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Academic Editors: Roberto Osellame and Rebeca Martínez Vázquez
Received: 5 March 2017 / Revised: 18 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Laser Fabrication for Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Abstract

By modification of glasses with ultrafast laser radiation and subsequent wet-chemical etching (here named SLE = selective laser-induced etching), precise 3D structures have been produced, especially in quartz glass (fused silica), for more than a decade. By the combination of a three-axis system to move the glass sample and a fast 3D system to move the laser focus, the SLE process is now suitable to produce more complex structures in a shorter time. Here we present investigations which enabled the new possibilities. We started with investigations of the optimum laser parameters to enable high selective laser-induced etching: surprisingly, not the shortest pulse duration is best suited for the SLE process. Secondly we investigated the scaling of the writing velocity: a faster writing speed results in higher selectivity and thus higher precision of the resulting structures, so the SLE process is now even suitable for the mass production of 3D structures. Finally we programmed a printer driver for commercial CAD software enabling the automated production of complex 3D glass parts as new examples for lab-on-a-chip applications such as nested nozzles, connectors and a cell-sorting structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective laser-induced etching; 3D precision glass parts; ultrafast laser machining; quartz glass machining; subtractive 3D printing selective laser-induced etching; 3D precision glass parts; ultrafast laser machining; quartz glass machining; subtractive 3D printing
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Gottmann, J.; Hermans, M.; Repiev, N.; Ortmann, J. Selective Laser-Induced Etching of 3D Precision Quartz Glass Components for Microfluidic Applications—Up-Scaling of Complexity and Speed. Micromachines 2017, 8, 110.

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