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Such ingenious CUBES!
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“I can honestly say FERGIE is changing the way we do
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– Dr. Mark Waterland, Massey University, New Zealand
LASER SCANNING continued
high-average-power lasers and very
high-speed scanning systems, says Lars
Penning, the company’s CEO and co-
founder. The founders of NST realized
that well-established technology in demanding industries such as high-performance laser printing could be adapted to
the needs of this new laser materials pro-
Penning says that at the LASER
World of PHOTONICS 2011 show in
Munich, Germany, NST was the first
to introduce a polygon-based scanner
system compatible with high-power
USP lasers. Since the end of 2015, NST
has been associated with galvo-scan-
ning-system maker Scanlab (Puchheim,
Germany), which has concentrated its
polygon-scanner know-how at the NST
site in Evergem.
To achieve industrial-scale productivity, USP lasers are best combined with ul-
trafast scanners—for example, a polygon scanner, Penning explains (see Fig. 3).
“Polygon scanners are particularly ad-
vantageous for line-oriented full-surface
processing of workpieces at fine resolutions and with freely definable patterns
and structures,” he says. “Thanks to the
high speed, these systems can considerably
slash materials-processing times. USP laser
processing applications range from structuring touchscreen surfaces or solar cells,
to microdrilling and processing of elec-
tronic components, glass and plastics, as
well as sensor and wafer manufacturing.”
Refractive f-theta optics
vs. mirror f-theta optics
Ultraprecise micromachining requires
small focused spot sizes and a full telecentric field of view—that is, a constant round
spot size over the complete scan area. To
focus to a small spot, Penning says, f
-theta optics are required. However, traditional refractive optics using lenses are limited in size because of the progressive cost
increase as the laser area becomes larger.
This means cost-efficient, highly accurate
laser scan heads with refractive f-theta optics have a limited scan field.
“Processing large-area ultraprecise work
by traditional f-theta optics requires a
step-and-repeat or multiplexing approach,”
FIGURE 3. RAZipol (www.razipol.eu), a
European initiative, aims to investigate
the efficiency benefits of laser materials
processing using beams with radial and
azimuthal polarization; here, a polygon
scanner by Next Scan Technology/Scanlab
creates a pattern with a subpicosecond
pulse beam intended for lab-on-a-chip
processing. (Courtesy of RAZipol/Next Scan