Ultrashort Laser Applications and Micromaterial Processing

The ULAMP laboratory provides a high-quality service focused on material laser processing to support the development of research in science and innovation in the industry. Its main equipment is a high repetition rate femtosecond laser system, which technical features allow to generate a laser beam with suitable parameters with this goal.

Spitfire laser system

This laser system, a Spectra Physics high-repetition-rate femtosecond system, provides an excellent laser beam quality and shot-to-shot stability. In the ULAMP laboratory, the beam is split in three secondary beams, reaching different experimental workstations.The features of this laser system are optima for the study of the interaction of ultrashort pulses with solid targets and for its application to materials processing. Due to the short temporal duration of the pulse it is possible to remove sub-micrometric layers of material with minimal thermal effects that occur at a longer temporal scale: this process of selective material elimination is the so-called ultrafast laser ablation. Moreover, this kind of ultrashort laser allows the localized and controlled change of some properties of the material (refractive index, reflectivity…) both in the surface as in-depth of transparent materials.

Sus características son óptimas para el estudio de la interacción de pulsos ultracortos con blancos sólidos y para su aplicación en el procesado de materiales. Debido a la corta duración temporal del pulso es posible eliminar capas sub-micrométricas de material con un mínimo efecto térmico ya que éstos suceden en una escala temporal mayor. Este proceso de eliminación selectiva del material es conocido como ablación láser ultrarrápida. Además, este tipo de láser ultracorto permite observar y controlar los cambios de algunas propiedades del material (índice refractivo, reflectividad…) tanto en la superficie como en el fondo de materiales transparentes.

Laser outline | Specs

The Ti: Sapphire oscillator (SpectraPhysics Mai Tai) emits pulses with a temporal duration of around 100 femtoseconds and with a central wavelength of around 800 nanometers. Its pumping laser is a Spectra-Physics Milennia (CW 532nm). The repetition rate is 84 MHz, and the average power is >400mW.

The Ti: Sapphire regenerative amplifier is pumped by an Empower 30 (pulsed laser at 532 nm) at 1 kHz. The total energy per shot is 5 mJ once compressed, and the duration is below 120 femtoseconds.

A final single-pass Ti: Sapphire amplifier is pumped by an Empower 45 (Neodymium doubled to green) at 1 kHz. The total energy per shot is 7 mJ once compressed, and the duration is below 120 femtoseconds.




ULAMP Laboratory

ULAMP Laboratories’ Layout | ULAMP Experimental workstations


Workstation 01.- High Precision Processing

The optical table (1800x900mm) is as close as possible to the laser room to avoid beam instabilities. There are two micropositioning systems formed each other by a three axes (XYZ) stage connected to a programmable multi-axis controlled by a mechanical shutter and by an optical attenuator respectively. An auxiliary imaging system allows the positioning of the beam laser in the selected target area and allows the control in realtime of the sample processing. Furthermore, there is another micro positioning system with galvanometer scanners for the best laser beam control, faster processing, and greater reproductivity approaching the industrial environment.

Workstation 02.- Trepanning and automatization processes

It is an isolated room with a robust optical table. The setup has been designed to operate with samples of larger dimensions and to produce larger scale microstructures (10-100 um). In the trepanning system, the laser beam is deflected by rotating optical wedges that cause the beam to impinge on the sample at controlled angles and perform a circular trajectory. In that way, circular structures can be produced with controlled conicity and dimension.

Workstation 03. – General purposes

This is a very versatile experimental area with a big optical table (1000x1500mm) for other processing works as single-shot for LITD applications, micromachining with laser filamentation, or other more basic types of processing.

Workstation 04.- CO2 Laser Processing

It is independent of the high repetition rate Spitfire system as it includes a CO2 laser system connected to a galvanometer and its sample positioning station. This system is ideal for the processing of plastic and other materials with low laser damage thresholds and high absorption at 10 um.
Common Laboratory Equipment