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Elimination of Surface Debris in Laser Ablation of Polymers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121697D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brannon, JH: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a process for preventing soot and debris accumulation surrounding laser ablation sites on an organic polymer surface by performing the ablation in helium or hydrogen gases.

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Elimination of Surface Debris in Laser Ablation of Polymers

      Disclosed is a process for preventing soot and debris
accumulation surrounding laser ablation sites on an organic polymer
surface by performing the ablation in helium or hydrogen gases.

      Organic polymers, such as KAPTON*, undergo efficient
photoablation when irradiated by ultraviolet laser pulses of
sufficient intensity (such as those from an excimer laser). The
ablation process, when performed in air, results in the formation of
soot and debris that surround the ablation site.  For many
applications, a clean surface following laser processing is required.
Performing the ablation in low-mass gases, such as helium or
hydrogen, at pressures near 1 atmosphere leaves the surface
significantly cleaner than what occurs in air.

      Instead of having to flow the gas over the surface during laser
ablation (*), simply immersing the polymer sample in a static chamber
containing the gas will provide a clean surface.  Further, utilizing
the gas at pressures near 1 atmosphere provides a noticeably cleaner
surface than that resulting from ablation in vacuum or low pressures.
A significant advantage of using a static gas fill for cleaning
purposes is that the gas can be slowly recirculated and thus reused.
Flowing gas over the polymer surface in air is effective, but leads
to increased amounts of needed gas.  Additionally, operating at
helium or hydrogen pressures of 1 atmosphere eliminates the need f...