Enhanced polymer ablation rates using high-repetition-rate ultraviolet lasers

Elizabeth K. Illy, Daniel J. W. Brown, Michael J. Withford, James A. Piper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Etch rates (μm/pulse) for glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) under pulsed UV (255 nm) laser processing are measured as a function of pulse repetition frequency in the range 0.7-15 kHz. Materials removal rates (μm/s) scale approximately linearly with pulse repetition frequency at a fluence of 0.59 J/cm2, and there appears to be no attenuation of the ablating laser beam by the ejected material plume for pulse rates up to 15 kHz. The instantaneous etch rate for pulses in a sequence increases markedly (approx. 40%) for long pulse sequences (>100 pulses) at high PRF (15 kHz), an effect which can be used to increase machining rates while operating at a moderate laser fluence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1548
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • laser ablation
  • laser machining
  • micromachining
  • pulsed lasers


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