Ceramic Substrate Machining
Synchron Laser Services, Inc. presents its fiber lasers as a more accurate and precise alternative to CO2 lasers.
Fiber lasers are proving to be a disruptive enabling technology in the scribing, drilling and cutting of ceramic substrates in an industry still predominantly using flowing CO2 laser technology developed in the 1970s. “Synchron's process incorporating fiber lasers is the first major improvement in accuracy and precision, combined with very high throughput in laser scribing of ceramics since, well, since laser scribing was first commercialized in the early 70's,” says Rich Budd of Synchron Laser Service, Inc.
The lower beam quality and 10x longer wavelength of CO2 lasers is insufficient to achieve the fine cut and tolerance requirements demanded by today’s applications. As a result of the high brightness and small spot size of the focused beam of the fiber laser, together with the use of an easily removable proprietary coating, Synchron Laser Services have developed a process capability to replace 500W CO2 lasers with 200W fiber lasers for high precision machining of ceramic substrates.
Synchron's patent-pending fiber laser process is the key enabling technology for high speed manufacturing of the tight tolerances for the placement of guide holes for LED lens orientation, and for circuit via holes required by the components for these high density displays. An additional benefit arises from the cost reduction allowed by size (volume) reduction for gold filled circuit via holes.
Synchron’s fiber laser based machining capability directly addresses a need in many areas of the ceramics substrate industry for a new technology to replace aging systems that are increasingly difficult and costly to maintain. Additionally, the current market shortage of helium (which makes up ~80% of the CO2 laser's gas mix) has caused its price to almost double in the past few months with many customers being placed on restricted supply schedules. The advantages of the fiber laser, including low heat affected zone and high position and machining tolerances, together with the significant cost of ownership savings both in terms of overall energy efficiency and maintenance costs compared to those of flowing CO2 lasers make a compelling business proposition.