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Product Code: JLA_16_1_52

W. W. Duley
Physics Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1, Ontario, Canada

This article discusses some basic concepts of laser processing when individual components have micron and submicron dimensions. Since joining and parting operations involve bond formation and bond breaking between atoms, the energy terms involved are quite similar in micro- and macroapplications. In fact, several elements of laser cutting and welding can be found in the laser-induced photochemical reactions of atoms and molecules. It is shown that there are no intrinsic wavelength limitations in laser processing of microsystems, as the scale length for processing is set by the dimensions of the part itself rather than by the wavelength of the light used. In addition, it is noted that conduction will be relatively unimportant in welding microcomponents. © 2004 Laser Institute of America.

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