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Ultrashort pulse laser micromachined microchannels and their application in an optical switch


The capability of direct writing makes ultrashort pulse laser significant in the microfabrication of MEMS devices based on polymer and glass. In particular, nanosecond and femtosecond lasers are able to transfer the adequate energy in femtosecond intervals for the removal of the materials. Because of its advantages, just like the small feature size, smooth finishing surface, flexible structuring and the minimum thermal effect, ultrashort pulse lasers have become a convincing technique with the high peak power. This paper presents the femtosecond laser machining results of the polycarbonate, aluminosilicate glasses and nanosecond laser machining of aluminosilicate glasses. The microchannels with the critical micron-scale dimensions and the sub-micron scale surface roughness were achieved by the optimized operating parameters of the laser. The major influence factors such as cutting speed, power energy, and power stability were analyzed to obtain the optimized parameters for the fabrication of the microchannels for a bubble switch. The ultrashort pulse laser micromachining was applied in the prototype of a bubble optical switch. By miniaturization of the structure of the microchannel, the switch speed can be promisingly improved.

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Correspondence to H.Y. Zheng.

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Zheng, H., Liu, H., Wan, S. et al. Ultrashort pulse laser micromachined microchannels and their application in an optical switch. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 27, 925–929 (2006).

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  • Bubble optical switch
  • Femtosecond laser micromachining
  • Microchannel
  • Surface roughness
  • Ultrashort pulse laser