Influence of ambient pressure on the hole formation in laser deep drilling
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We investigate the temporal evolution of the hole depth and shape for percussion drilling at different ambient pressure conditions. Deep drilling is performed in silicon as target material by ultrashort laser pulses at 1030 nm and a duration of 8 ps. Simultaneously, the backlit silhouette of the hole is imaged perpendicular to the drilling direction. While typical process phases like depth development and shape evolution are very similar for atmospheric pressure down to vacuum conditions (10−2 mbar), the ablation rate in the initial process phase is significantly increased for reduced pressure. The number of pulses till the stop of the drilling process also increases by a pressure reduction and exceeds drilling at atmospheric conditions by two orders of magnitude for a pressure of ca. 10−2 mbar. Accordingly, the maximum achievable hole depth is more than doubled. We attribute this behavior to an enlarged mean free path for ablation products at reduced pressure and therefore lower or no deposition of particles inside the hole capillary under vacuum conditions while debris fills the hole already after a few thousand pulses at atmospheric pressure. This is supported by scanning electron cross section images of the holes.
KeywordsDrilling Pulse Energy Ambient Pressure Ablation Rate Drilling Process
We acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Leibniz program) and the Fraunhofer–Gesellschaft. Sören Richter is supported by the Hans L. Merkle Stiftung.