After the development of a novel XeCl excimer laser with a nearly diffraction-limited beam and 175 ns pulse length, research was done on different industrial applications of this laser. Hole drilling, one of these applications, was studied extensively. A better understanding of the drilling process is necessary to optimise the drilling efficiency and to control the quality of the holes. A shadowgraphic imaging technique was used for studying the removal of material from the hole and the absorption of the laser beam by this removed material. Images were made at successive times both during and after the laser pulse. In drilling of thin foils, it was shown that the material was ejected mainly after the laser pulse. A comparison of different materials showed that the drilling process should be optimised for each material independently. Furthermore, the plume was found to be not fully transparent for processing materials with a strong absorption line at or near the laser wavelength. The correlation between material and drilling speed suggests improved energy transfer and improved melt ejection for the materials with this absorption.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Applied physics A: Materials science and processing|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|