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Laser processing of silica and glass for patterned surface

Nature of result: Know-how of Laser based processes for manufacturing large areas with fine detailed surface structures (5-100µm) on glass or silica substrates has been gathered. Many aspects of geometrical shaping the material, and process development for reducing surface roughness have been successfully carried out. Polishing with surfaces of optical quality has been achieved.

Relevance: The new surface structures offer one starting point for enhancement of photon efficiency of photomultipliers. The small dimensions of the generated geometry are crucial. The generation of structures for large cathode areas necessitated development of rapid and large-scale laser technology to achieve good economics. The compatibility with subsequent fabrication processes, such as cathode coating with active layers, as well as optical coatings, is directly linked to the condition of the machined surface. Therefore the reduction of surface roughness is an important aspect for the fabrication of micro-optical components. In contrast with the developed laser based process, mechanical methods will be limited to very simple geometries, if applicable at all.

The newly developed technology is applicable to other technologies such as polishing of micro-optics, generation of functional structures for micro-biological analysis etc. The machining of non-glass microstructures is valuable for making masters in solgel technology. This symbiosis opens a new and wide range topological processing.

Potential: Currently, further areas with need for high quality microstructures are being evaluated for possible technology transfer. They include micro-optics, technical optics, and electro-optics as well as chemical and biological analysis.
Current status: Extension of a pre-existing patent to other dimensions e.g. micro-optics.

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