Ablation of BioPolymers with 193 nm Excimer Pulses at the University of Hull

There is increasing interest in precision micromachining and patterning of biopolymer substrates and films, e.g. for use as biodegradable fibers and waveguides for novel medical procedures based on deep tissue laser delivery. However, this structuring is challenging because these biopolymers are often thermo-mechanically delicate. In this whitepaper we describe groundbreaking research by Doctor Chris Walton and graduate student Abdulsattar Aesa who have successfully utilized pulses from a Coherent 193 nm excimer laser to create optical structures in the polymer chitosan via a cold ablation process. Using a mask projection geometry and a combination of precise metrology and comprehensive theoretical analysis, Aesa and Walton have characterized the details of this excimer ablation method in chitosan. They have created a variety of patterns including optically relevant structures (e.g., cross gratings), where the ability to control the etch depth enabled them to fabricate both amplitude and phase gratings could be created.

This white paper sponsored by Coherent.

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