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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 12 — Jun. 9, 2008
  • pp: 8958–8968

High speed laser drilling of metals using a high repetition rate, high average power ultrafast fiber CPA system

A. Ancona, F. Röser, K. Rademaker, J. Limpert, S. Nolte, and A. Tünnermann  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 12, pp. 8958-8968 (2008)

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We present an experimental study on the drilling of metal targets with ultrashort laser pulses at high repetition rates (from 50 kHz up to 975 kHz) and high average powers (up to 68 Watts), using an ytterbium-doped fiber CPA system. The number of pulses to drill through steel and copper sheets with thicknesses up to 1 mm have been measured as a function of the repetition rate and the pulse energy. Two distinctive effects, influencing the drilling efficiency at high repetition rates, have been experimentally found and studied: particle shielding and heat accumulation. While the shielding of subsequent pulses due to the ejected particles leads to a reduced ablation efficiency, this effect is counteracted by heat accumulation. The experimental data are in good qualitative agreement with simulations of the heat accumulation effect and previous studies on the particle emission. However, for materials with a high thermal conductivity as copper, both effects are negligible for the investigated processing parameters. Therefore, the full power of the fiber CPA system can be exploited, which allows to trepan high-quality holes in 0.5mm-thick copper samples with breakthrough times as low as 75 ms.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.3390) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials processing
(140.3510) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, fiber
(140.4480) Lasers and laser optics : Optical amplifiers
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: March 18, 2008
Revised Manuscript: May 2, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: May 2, 2008
Published: June 3, 2008

A. Ancona, F. Röser, K. Rademaker, J. Limpert, S. Nolte, and A. Tünnermann, "High speed laser drilling of metals using a high repetition rate, high average power ultrafast fiber CPA system," Opt. Express 16, 8958-8968 (2008)

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