Thin Film Removal

Thin film removal is the process of removing a very thin layer of material from a substrate. The thin film can be naturally occurring such as oxide from titanium (Figure 1) or it can be something that has been applied to a material such as Indium Tin Oxid

ITO Removal with a Fiber Laser
Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is another thin film that can be scribed by fiber lasers to make solar cells but is also used in flat screen TVs and touch sensitive screens. ITO is an example of a Transmissive Conducting Oxide (TCO) of which there are several types commonly used.

In ITO removal the frequency of the laser has an effect on the quality of the edge produced (Figure 3). Generally, increasing the frequency gives a better edge quality with less scalloping associated with the pulse overlaps.

The results generated are highly material dependant and so application trials are advised to identify the optimum processing parameters.

Why choose an SPI Pulsed Laser?
SPI’s G3 Pulsed Lasers are ideal for thin film removal as their high repetition rates allow for sufficient pulse overlap at high processing speeds. Many of these materials only require low pulse energies to remove the layer without damaging the substrate and can benefit from the lasers’ ability to operate of pulse frequencies up to 500kHz.

Trials with SPI’s G3 Pulsed Fiber laser have shown that using high pulse frequencies result in significant improvements in scribe quality.
Using low pulse energy short pulses gives enhanced control of the heat input into the process and helps reduce debris and minimises thermal damage.

There are also the other benefits of Fiber Lasers including ease of use, low maintenance and low total cost of ownership.

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