Technical ceramics are widely used in the microelectronics industry, and are traditionally difficult to machine. These materials are hard and brittle, and components are generally small. Laser processing allows lines, slots, holes and complex profiles to be machined with no tool contact and reduced mechanical stress.
The laser process requires very careful control of the parameters; the Luxinar SR 15i is designed with ceramic processing in mind, allowing control of the pulse width from 2µs to 1ms. The pulse regime of the laser is critical; long pulses and slow process speeds usually produce superior results.
Alumina (Al2O3) is the most common material, but we can also process other ceramics, including zirconia, aluminium nitride and boron nitride.
Ceramic components can be separated by drilling a series of closely spaced blind holes along the required cutting line. The ceramic is then broken cleanly along this line. In many cases this “scribe and break” technique is faster and more reliable than full cutting. The hole depth and separation must be precisely controlled in order to ensure a clean break. The Luxinar SR 15i is particularly well suited to this application, offering pulse widths up to 1 millisecond for complete control of the scribing depth.