Trio forms alliance to laser-process glass, brittle materials


Krailing, Germany -- Innolas, FiLaser, and Lumera Laser will collaborate to commercialize a new laser cutting technology specifically for glass and brittle materials.

Conventional laser cutting uses rapid heating to vaporize and remove material, but the process is slow and can lead to microcracks and a rough surface finish, requiring post-processing grinding and polishing to remove the damage, adding time and costs.

Filament cutting, however, uses ultrashort-pulse (picosecond-range) lasers to cut brittle materials via plasma dissociation, a process that results in lower surface roughness, high bend strength, and faster processing speed. It also works especially well on chemically strengthened glass and sapphire, materials that are difficult to cut with conventional methods. Specific applications for filament cutting include touchscreen displays for smartphones and tablet PCs, as well as various high-speed semiconductor materials (silicon, silicon carbide, and gallium arsenide).

The technology "is purely disruptive and will provide our customers with a compelling motivation to acquire this capability," offered Jeffrey Albelo, CEO of FiLaser. "Looking ahead, we have great expectations as the application potential spans far beyond glass, sapphire, and wafer singulation.

"Up to now the field of glass cutting had mostly been the domain of high average power CW lasers. The FiLaser technology utilizes unique aspects of our ultrafast lasers providing a fast and high-quality solution," stated Achim Nebel, CEO of Lumera Laser GmbH.

"This innovative laser cutting technology gives us access to new markets, where we can leverage our core competencies in laser machining and glass handling," added Innolas CEO Richard Grundmüller.

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