Silicon carbide, due to its unique properties, has many promising applications in optics, electronics, and other areas. However, it is difficult to micromachine using mechanical approaches due to its brittleness and high hardness. Laser ablation can potentially provide a good solution for silicon carbide micromachining. However, previous studies of silicon carbide ablation by nanosecond laser pulses at infrared wavelengths are very limited on material removal mechanism, and the mechanism has not been well understood. In this paper, experimental study is performed for silicon carbide ablation by 1064 nm and 200 ns laser pulses through both nanosecond time-resolved in situ observation and laser-ablated workpiece characterization. This study shows that the material removal mechanism is surface vaporization, followed by liquid ejection (which becomes clearly observable at around after the laser pulse starts). It has been found that the liquid ejection is very unlikely due to phase explosion. This study also shows that the radiation intensity of laser-induced plasma during silicon carbide ablation does not have a uniform spatial distribution, and the distribution also changes very obviously when the laser pulse ends.
Time-Resolved Experimental Study of Silicon Carbide Ablation by Infrared Nanosecond Laser Pulses
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Gao, Y., Zhou, Y., Wu, B., Tao, S., Jacobsen, R. L., and Goodman, B. (March 11, 2011). "Time-Resolved Experimental Study of Silicon Carbide Ablation by Infrared Nanosecond Laser Pulses." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. April 2011; 133(2): 021006. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4003618
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