Product Code: ICAL07_M1307

Fiber Laser Welding of High Integrity Implantable Medical Devices
Serdar Unal, St. Jude Medical; Sylmar CA USA
Sergey Safarevich, St. Jude Medical; Sylmar CA USA
Silke Pflueger, SPI Lasers; Los Gatos CA USA
Tony Hoult, SPI Lasers; Santa Clara CA USA
David Braman, Crafford-LaserStar Technologies; Riverside RI USA
Presented at ICALEO 2007

Medical implantable devices like pacemakers, ICDs and leads are progressively becoming more compact
and lighter. Some of the components used for hermetic and structural welding are still large and thick
enough for conventional Nd:YAG pulsed lasers. However, some of the welded components, particularly
used for electrical connections, have become so small and thin that the conventional Nd:YAG laser
performs like a big and rough tool. The greatest challenge for welding is that the miniature components
have limited heat sink ability, particularly if the components contain heat sensitive elements, such as
electronic chips, lower melting point plastics, and organic materials. Properly selected laser beam
characteristics, such as diameter of the beam and energy distribution within the focused spot in welding
area, may significantly improve welding process increasing yield during production. The results of this
study have identified three fundamental criteria relating to the laser beam welding of the miniature
components. First is a comparable diameter of the beam in welding area. Second is the consistency of
energy output. Third is the minimization of the component heat input. The presentation discusses the
analysis made on the application of the FiberStar® portable laser workstation, which incorporates the SPI
High Power 1090 nm 100W air-cooled fiber laser engine, to production components such as super thin Pt,
Cu-Ni, Cu and MP35N conductors, cables, electrodes and compact electronic subassemblies.

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