The precise power of the femtosecond lasers

Lighting the match with laser power? That’s too easy! Try punching a hole in a match without lighting it up!

The ultrashort pulses created by femtosecond lasers allow for so-called cold machining processes. Through cold ablation, the chosen spot is vaporized with pulses so short that the neighboring material does not have time to heat up.

The sample you can see here was made with our Jasper X0 femtosecond laser using a galvo-scanner with an f-theta lens. The energy of the pulse was 30 µJ, with the duration below 250 fs. This way we were able to ablate the highly flammable match coating while leaving the rest unaffected.

This of course has far more interesting consequences than just sculpting matches. For one the cold ablation process allows you to work with heat-sensitive polymers. They are used in medicine for manufacturing bio-absorbable stents. Also working with hard, brittle materials like glass, sapphire or diamonds is much easier with ultrashort pulses. It prevents cracks in the material. Working with precise cuts in metals such as nitinol, titanium, or tungsten? The ablation process leaves the cuts with a smooth edge and allows you to cut costs spent on post-processing. And last but not least the precise deposition of energy while using femtosecond lasers gives unprecedented opportunities for two-photon excited fluorescence microscopy on the in vivo samples.

Check out Jasper X0 if you need stable, reliable ultrashort pulses with average power up to 60 W!

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