Quality and throughput of laser material processing are influenced by multiple laser parameters as well as material properties. Since material degradation due to laser processing is generally related to heat-affected zone, quick optimization and realization of nonthermal process is one of the most important issues for higher-grade laser processing. In this work, we developed various parameter-controlled ultrashort pulse laser system that can control various laser parameters over a wide range, such as pulse duration over three orders of magnitude. Using this laser system (wavelength: 1033 nm, pulse duration: 0.4 to 400 ps, repetition: up to 1 MHz), we have investigated nonthermal–thermal processing boundary in drilling of ceramics: aluminum nitride (AlN) and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), with high and low thermal conductivity, respectively. As a result, the AlN ceramic exhibited strong dependence of ablation rate on fluence: low-, mid- and high-fluence regimes appeared with different logarithmic correlations. Further, the nonthermal–thermal process boundaries appeared, depending on the pulse duration. On the other hand, the ablation behavior of YSZ was much different from AlN; the ablation rate did not show distinct three regimes. Further, there were no nonthermal process windows for the YSZ. Therefore, the nonthermal–thermal process boundaries were governed by the laser parameters like pulse duration as well as the material thermal conductivity.
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Narazaki, A., Takada, H., Yoshitomi, D. et al. Study on nonthermal–thermal processing boundary in drilling of ceramics using ultrashort pulse laser system with variable parameters over a wide range. Appl. Phys. A 126, 252 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00339-020-3410-2