Objectives and content:
Europe's leading specialists in different working areas will join together for the FEMTO project, with the goal to develop a novel type of machining system for very precise micro-machining, based on ultra-short-pulse (femtosecond)lasers (1 fs = 10-15 s). The companies and institutions for this collaboration are B.M. lndustries, BMI (FR) which is Europe's only manufacturer of ultrafast (femtosecond) solid state lasers based on Titanium:sapphire, Biotronik, BT (DE) as a manufacturer of sophisticated medical implants like pacemakers, defibrillators and antithrombogenic stents, PhotekLimited, PL (GB) as a manufacturer of image and streak camera tubes, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., LZH (DE) as a specialist for laser processing techniques, Equipe Laser Intenses et Applications, Universit‚ Bordeaux I, ELIA(FR) as a research institution for femtosecond laser development and finally Ex-manufacturer of laser machining systems. The femtosecond machining technique provides the opportunity of processing a variety of materials - including problematic and delicate materials such asmetals, transparent and organic materials - with very high precision and a minimum thermal and mechanical damage.
Therefore, detailed investigations on the machining process of ultra short-pulse radiation (pulse duration < 1 ps) with different desired materials are planned. One goal is the evaluation of the optimum laser parameters for a highly specialised machining process on high value products, like stents made of different (metallic and organic) materials, special metallic grids for streak cameras, anodes and dynodes for position sensitive photomultipliers etcå Based on the results of these investigations, a prototype femtosecond machining system will be designed and developed. Due to the fact that present femtosecond lasers are relatively bulky andcomplex, an industrial application of these systems has not yet been taken into account. However, one aim of the proposed project is to develop as implified and user-friendlyfemtosecond micro-machining system having a precision, which is not achievable with conventional (laser-based) machining techniques. The developed system will not be limited to the applications mentioned above, so that Europe's industries of other areas (e.g. automotive and printing industry) will also profit from this new and innovative development. Further possible applications are, e.g., the drilling of fuel injector nozzles, the machining of metallic and glass mechanical components, the production of sensor devices and burr-free holes in printed circuit boards (PCB's). BE97-4841
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
OX5 1QU Oxford, Kidlington
EC1M 5QU London