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ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER

LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

SEMINAR REPORT

Submitted By

AJAYRADH K.T
In partial fulfilment of the requirement
For the award of degree of

BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY

IN

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

DEPARTMENT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING THALASSERY

KANNUR, KERALA 670107

AUGUST 2017
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING THALASSERY

CERTIFICATE

Certified that this is a bonafide Seminar Report on “ULTRASONIC ASSISTED


UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON”
submitted by Mr AJAYRADH K.T(Reg. No. 15152063) during the year 2017,
in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of degree of Bachelors of
Technology in Mechanical Engineering, Cochin University of Science and
Technology, Kerala

Dr P Rajeev Mr Siju Kallada Dr V Kamalakannan

Associate Prof Assistant Prof Professor

Seminar In charge Seminar Cordinator Head of the Department:


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

First of all I express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Joseph O A, Principal, College of Engineering
Thalassery for allowing me to use the college facilities for completing my seminar.

I am indebted to Dr. V Kamalakannan, Dr Rajeev P and Mr Siju K Department of Mechanical


Engineering for their timely help, guidance and for their motivation to accomplish this seminar.

Finally I take this opportunity for expressing my sincere gratitude to all my friends for their
wholehearted co-operation. Last but not least I would like to thank all those people whom I have
not mentioned here, but who’s helping hand have been a great support to me.
ABSTRACT

Under water laser machining process provides a clean cut with smaller heat affected zone
and material deposition in and near the cut region. However the cut debris and bubbles
formed significantly disturbs the laser beam during the ablation in water which further
decreases the effectiveness of the process. The present study aims at overcoming the above
said limitation by utilizing ultrasonic vibrations. In this technique the formed bubbles are
atomized and the cut debris is flushed away from the laser ablated region by providing
ultrasound vibrations using an ultrasound transducer. Silicon was selected as the work
material which was irradiated by a nanosecond pulse laser in water. The effects of ultrasonic
power, ultrasonic frequency, water flow rate, laser pulse energy and laser traverse speed on
groove geometry and surface morphology were investigated. The conclusion of the study is
that ultrasonic assisted underwater laser machining technique can be used as an alternative
micromachining process which has a higher material removal rate and better surface quality
than the other methods.

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CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION 1
2 LITERATURE REVIEW 4 3 OBJECTIVES 54 ULTRASONIC ASSISTED
LASER ABLATION UNDER FLOWING WATER IN A CLOSED CHAMBER
65 METHODOLOGY 8
5.1 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND SETUP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

6 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 10


6.1 EFFECT OF PROCESS PARAMETERS ON GROOVE WIDTH . . . 10
6.2 EFFECT OF PROCESS PARAMETERS ON GROOVE DEPTH . . . 12
6.3 CUT SURFACE MORPHOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
6.4 SURFACE CHARACTERISTICS OF SILICON ABLATED IN DIF-
FERENT ENVIRONMENTS ....................... 15
7 CONCLUSIONS 21 REFERENCES 21

LIST OF FIGURES
1.1 Ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser ablation in a closed chamber with
water flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 5.1
Ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser ablation in a closed chamber with water
flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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6.1 Effect of process parameters on groove width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

6.2 Effect of process parameters on groove depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 6.3


Surface morphology of silicon obtained when the ultrasonic powers of (a and c) 20 W and (b
and d) 50 W, and ultrasonic frequencies of (a and b) 20 kHz and (c and d) 60 kHz were used
(water flow 4 l/min; traverse
speed 50 mm/min and laser pulse energy 0.2 mJ). . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 6.4
High magnification surface morphology of silicon obtained when the ul- trasonic
powers of (a and c) 20 W and (b and d) 50 W, and ultrasonic frequencies of (a and b) 20
kHz and (c and d) 60 kHz were used (water flow 4 l/min; traverse speed 50 mm/min and
laser pulse energy 0.2 mJ). 17 6.5 Surface characteristics of silicon after laser
ablation: (a) in air; (b) in flowing water of 4 l/min; (c) in ultrasonic and water without flow
(closed chamber); (d) in ultrasonic (20 kHz and 20 W); (e) in ultrasonic (60 kHz and 50 W)
with the flowing water of 4 l/min, when laser pulse frequency
= 30 kHz, traverse speed = 50 mm/min and laser pulse energy = 0.2 mJ. 19
6.6 Cut surface obtained at the groove center after laser ablation: (a) in
air; (b) in water with the flow rate of 4 l/min (closed chamber); (c) in ultrasonic
and water without flow rate (closed chamber); (d) in ultrasonic (20 kHz and 20
W); (e) in ultrasonic (60 kHz and 50 W) with the flow rate of 4 l/min (closed
chamber), when laser pulse energy = 0.2 mJ, laser pulse frequency = 30 kHz,
traverse speed = 50 mm/min. . . . . . . . . 20

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION
Silicon is widely utilized as a substrate in electronic, photovoltaic and many high density
system applications due to its excellent electrical and mechanical properties. In order to
rapidly and accurately cut silicon substrate, laser is normally used since it can provide high
photon energy and resolution for fine-scale ablation. However, thermal damage caused by
the infrared laser can crucially affect the functionality of siliconbased components. Some
secondary postprocesses are therefore required to recover the cut surface of silicon after
machining. In general, recast layer and redeposition of molten material occurring on and
nearby the laser-cut surface are undesirable and need to be washed away by chemical etching
and/or ultrasonic cleaning processes. Moreover, the excessive heat conducting into the work
material can cause heataffected zone (HAZ) around the laser-ablated area, where the
transformations of material and microcracks can be evident on and underneath the machined
surface. Under the long pulse irradiation, work material is removed via the photothermal
mechanism where the melting and evaporation are responsible for the ablation and also the
thermal damage.

Liquid-assisted laser ablation process has become an alternative technique that is able to
cut and cool the workpiece simultaneously. Water is normally used since it is cheap, harmless
and recyclable. There are several methods forapplying water into the laser machining
process, e.g., water spray, underwater, overflow, thin water film and waterjet techniques. The
underwater laser ablation method is by far the simplest approach since it requires less
transformation of the and optic systems. With regard to this technique, work material is
ablated by a laser beam while it is submerged in water. The thickness of water layer covering
on the workpiece surface can be varied, depending on the laser wavelength and workpiece
material. During the ablation process, water can cool down the workpiece temperature and
also carry away the cut debris, thus reducing the size of HAZ and preventing the redeposition
of removed material. Furthermore, a strong shock pressure induced by the plasma formation
and collapse of cavitation bubble can mechanically assist the removal process in the confined
volume of water. The shock wave in water and stress wave propagating in work material are
found to be higher than that present in the ambient air ablation. Nevertheless, the shock wave
traveling in water can generate waves at the top surface of water layer, in which the waves
can dynamically alter the laser beam refraction and reflection. These optical disturbances are
unacceptable for precise laser machining process. Typically, the underwater laser ablation is
performed in still water or very slow water flow condition, where heat and material debris
cannot be rapidly and directionally carried away

ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

from the workpiece.

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The uniform and flowing water layer should be applied to the underwater laser machining
process for gaining a higher ablation performance. Charee et al. (2015) propose an
underwater laser ablation method that the whole workpiece is submerged in a closed water
chamber as shown in Fig.A window made of borosilicate glass is applied to isolate air and
water, making the clear-cut interface and controllable refraction of laser beam. Water is
pumped into the chamber at one side and flows out from the opposite side to enable the
directional flow.

Figure 1.1: Ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser ablation in a closed chamber with water flow

By using this technique, a cleaner and smoother surface can be obtained. An ultrasound-
assisted underwater laser machining process was proposed by Wu (2014) and its
investigation was done by Liu et al. (2014). They found that a clean and deep hole can be
made by using the 532-nm laser in water with the ultrasonic frequency of 20 kHz. This can
be remarked that a greater machining performance than that provided by the other laser
ablation techniques is plausible by integrating the ultrasound with the laser ablation in water.
Since the ultrasonic wave can generate the high frequency impulses in water, the bubble
generated during the laser ablation in water could be broken up into a smaller size.

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ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

Therefore minimize the laser beam disturbance due to the bubbles during the ablation.
There are two major ultrasonic parameters, i.e., ultrasonic frequency and vibrating amplitude,
involving the formation of acoustic wave and cavitation bubble in water. However, the effects
of these parameters on the laser machining performance in water have not ever been revealed
before; specifically for the 1064-nm pulse laser that is mostly used in machining processes.
Based on the findings of (Charee et al., 2015), water flow rate in the chamber is also a
significant factor affecting the laser ablation rate in water. Thus, the different ultrasound and
water flow tions should be comprehensively investigated to understand their effects and
interactions on the cut features. The aim of this study is to examine the potential of the
ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser micromachining process for silicon, where a workpiece
is ablated in the flowing water with an ultrasound condition. The effects of ultrasonic and
some laser parameters on the cut geometry and surface morphology were experimentally
investigated to enable an insight into the process. The findings of this work would gain some
values to micro-manufacturing industries as well as academic research to make further
contributions to the engineering science.

B.Tech 2017 Dept. of ME

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW
Duangwas(2014) conducted the over flow assisted underwater laser ablation method and
found that the redeposition of material and heat affected zone can be reduced by this
technique.

Tangwarodomnukun (2010) conducted laser ablation using laser of longer laser pulse
duration and found that work material is removed via the photothermal mechanism where
the melting and evaporation are responsible for the ablation and also the thermal damage.

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Charee(2015) conducted experiment on ultrasonic assisted laser ablation and found by using
this technique, a cleaner and deeper groove can be made on silicon compared to the laser
ablation in air and in still water conditions.

CHAPTER 3

OBJECTIVES
To examine the potential of the ultrasonic assisted underwater laser micromachining process
for silicon, where a work piece is ablated in flowing water with an ultrasound condition.

To investigate the effects of ultrasonic and some laser parameters on the cut geometry and
surface morphology.

CHAPTER 4

ULTRASONIC ASSISTED LASER


ABLATION UNDER FLOWING WATER
IN A CLOSED CHAMBER
Although the underwater laser machining process can be used to ablate work materials with
less thermal damage, the bubbles generated in water can significantly disturb the laser beam.
This lead to the decreased process efficiency and cut quality obtained (Tangwarodomnukun
et al., 2010). Recently, Charee et al. (2015) have applied a water flow system into the closed
water chamber for the underwater laser machining process.

With this setup, water flow rate and flow direction can be well controlled in the chamber,
causing the effective flushing of bubble and also material debris during the ablation process.
As per our preliminary tests, some bubbles still remained on the workpiece surface,
specifically at the laser-irradiated area, even though the water flow condition was used. This
might be due to the momentum of water flow that is not high enough to dominate the adhesion
force between the bubble and workpiece surface. By additionally transmitting the ultrasound
wave to the bubble in water, it is anticipated that the bubble could be energized, broken up
and then expelled from the work surface consequently.

In this study, an ultrasonic transducer was integrated with the closed water chamber at
the bottom side. This type of process setup is also suggested by Wu (2014). An antivibrating
rubber sheet was employed to dampen the ultrasound wave travelling toward the workpiece.

4
As such, water can ultrasonically be energized while the workpiece and its associated
structures such as fixture and support are not allowed to be moved. This could make a
difference of acoustic behaviors between water and workpiece to enhance the bubble removal
by the aid of vibrating water rather than workpiece shaking.

Under this ultrasonic condition, the cavitation bubble can be generated all around the
workpiece surface, where the collapse of cavitation bubble occurs and then results in the
shock pressure to assist the material removal and to prevent the debris deposition on the work
surface. Furthermore, the workpiece vibration is dampened by the rubber sheet, the focal
position of laser beam remains no significant change, so that the precise ablation can be
yielded accordingly.

The machining process is made by passing a laser beam through a borosilicate window
that evenly distances from the top workpiece surface. This distance defines the water layer
thickness which should not be too narrow to cause the back-side laser etching of glass and
too large to significantly attenuate the laser intensity in water medium. Water is supplied to
the inlet channel at one side of the chamber and flowed out at the opposite side to enable a
directional flow across the workpiece.

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ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

CHAPTER 5
METHODOLOGY
5.1 EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND SETUP
A nanosecond pulse laser providing the wavelength of 1064 nm, maximum average laser
power of 30 W and pulse duration of 120 ns was used in this study for microgrooving process.
The laser pulse frequency can be adjusted within the range of 30250 kHz. A collimated beam
diameter (D) of 10.2 mm was focused by a 67.27-mm focusing lens before transmitting
through air, window and water for ablation in the chamber. The focal distance compensation
(zs) and laser beam diameter (db) calculated by using Eqs. (4) and (5) were approximately
6.04 mm and 27.11 cm, respectively. Singlecrystalline silicon wafer with the crystal
orientation of (1 1 0) and thickness of 508 cm was employed as a specimen, placing inside
the stainless steel chamber. A 10mm thick borosilicate glass was installed at the top side of
chamber and perpendicular to the incident laser beam.

Figure 5.1: Ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser ablation in a closed chamber with water flow

The distance between the window and workpiece surface was kept constant at 5 mm,
allowing water to flow over the workpiece during the laser ablation. A centrifugal pump
providing the maximum flow rate of 5,000 l/min was used to continuously supply water into
the chamber through a 6-mm inlet channel. The chamber was clamped on the CNC xy-stage
for the purpose of 2D translation during the laser.An

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Dept. of ME

ultrasonic transducer attached to the bottom side of chamber can introduce different vibrating
amplitude with respect to the electrical power supplying to the transducer. As per the
limitation of our ultrasonic system, the ultrasonic power can be adjusted within the range of
2050 W. Three transducers providing the ultrasonic frequencies of 20, 40 and 60 kHz were
employed in this research. These frequencies are normally used in the ultrasonic cleaning
process (Fuchs, 1992). The transducers were moved in the vertical direction with the
amplitude of a few microns. Since the rubber sheet was used to dampen the vibration, the
vibrating amplitude at the workpiece fixture was measured by using a laser interferometer
(EXCEL Precision 1001B, USA) with the acquiring resolution of 0.01 s. Some results taken
from the interferometer reading were shown in Fig. 3, indicating that the vibrating amplitudes
were only 0.016 micro m for all ultrasonic frequencies and powers considered in this study.
This is apparent that the anti-vibrating rubber sheet can well dampen the ultrasound wave
travelling toward the fixture and workpiece. In addition, the vibrating amplitudes detected
were much smaller than the laser depth of focus. Thus, it was not unreasonable to assume
that there was no motion of workpiece significantly changing the laser focal position on
workpiece and causing a remarkable difference in the laser-material interactions.

A set of experiments was examined through the full-factorial experimental design, where
four levels of water flow rate, four levels of ultrasonic power and three levels of ultrasonic
frequency were tested as given in Table 1. The water flow values selected were based on the
Charees work, where the rate should not be too slow to cause the material deposition and not
too high to attenuate the laser heating/ablation process. Two laser pulse energies and two
laser traverse speeds were also considered in this experimental set. The laser beam was
focused at the top workpiece The laser pulse frequency and water layer thickness were kept
constant at 30 kHz and 5 mm for all tests, respectively. According to Eq. (1), the laser
intensity (I) after passing the 10mm thick borosilicate glass and 5-mm thick water layer was
approximately 83.98of the intensity provided. Hence, the laser pulse energies of 0.2 and 0.5
mJ were attenuated to be 0.17 and 0.42 mJ, respectively. Regarding Table 1, there was the
total of 192 conditions to be tested with the replication of 5 to statistically qualify the 0.8
power of test under the 95measured by using the high magnification confocal laser
microscope (Olympus LEXT OLS4000, Japan). The cut surface morphology including
cracks and debris deposition was also observed by using the scanning electron microscope
(SEM)..

ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

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CHAPTER 6

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS


6.1 EFFECT OF PROCESS PARAMETERS ON GROOVE
WIDTH
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to statistically determine the significant level
of the five process parameters regarding the measured groove width. The ANOVA results
shown indicate that laser pulse energy and traverse speed importantly affected the groove
width while the ultrasonic frequency, sonic power and water flow rate did not distinctly affect
the width under the 95ultrasonic power and frequency on the groove width, showing no
substantial change to the cut width. This is due to the vibrating direction that is only limited
in the vertical mode, thus causing no change to the position of laser beam on the work piece
surface. As such, the size of cut width and laser-irradiated region can be similar for all
ultrasonic conditions investigated. However, it can be noted from the figure that the groove
width obtained was found to be larger than the laser beam diameter (27.11 micro m). This
could be due to the interference of bubble to the laser beam during the ablation in water that
induces the beam scattering and in turn enlarges the laser-irradiated area so as the top kerf
width. The effect of water flow rate depicted in Fig. 6.1(b) and (c) also indicates no
significant change to the groove width. This could be due to the flow momentum that is
perhaps insufficient to widen the cut under the flow rates considered in this study.

Fig. 6.1(d) and (e) presents the interaction plots between ultrasonic power, ultrasonic
frequency and laser traverse speed on the groove width, showing that an increase in traverse
speed decreases the groove width for all ultrasonic conditions. This is due to the laser-
irradiating time per a work area that is short under the high traverse speed, thus reducing the
laser-heated region so as the size of cut obtained. Though the ultrasonic power and frequency
did not statistically affect the groove width, the increase in parameters was found to slightly
enlarge the groove of silicon in the underwater laser machining process to some extent. A
possible reason would rely on the high kinematic energy of water induced by the ultrasound
that forces the hot cut debris to rapidly cool down and not to land on the groove surface. In
addition, the molten layer of silicon covering on the groove surface would be ultrasonically
energized and then ejected from the base material. These two mechanisms could result in a
little wider groove for a higher ultrasonic power. By comparing the groove width to the non-
ultrasound results (Charee et al., 2015), a narrower cut can be obtained under the ultrasound
conditions.

Dept. of ME
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A smaller bubble promoted by the ultrasound in water can provide less laser beam scattering
and beam defocusing during the ablation (Fuchs, 1992), thus decreasing the cut width.

The effect of laser pulse energy on the cut width is presented in Fig. 6.1(f) and (g),
highlighting that a higher laser energy (0.5 mJ in this study) causes a larger cut than a lower
one (0.2 mJ). This is owing to the large amount of heat energy that conducts into the
workpiece and then expands the laser-heated region in which more work material can be
ablated. The interaction plots between the ultrasonic parameters and laser pulse energy are
likely the same as those of the laser traverse speed (Fig. 6.1(d) and (e)), where the high power
and high frequency of ultrasound can slightly increase the cut width.

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ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

Figure 6.1: Effect of process parameters on groove width

6.2 EFFECT OF PROCESS PARAMETERS ON GROOVE


DEPTH
The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was employed to determine the significant level of
process parameters on the groove depth, and the ANOVA results listed in Table 3 indicate
that all five process parameters significantly affect the cut depth with regard to the 95with the
ultrasonic power and ultrasonic frequency. This could be attributed to the forming and
collapsing of cavitation bubble in water that are induced by the ultrasound (Fuchs, 1992).
These effects typically cause the mechanical shock pressure which can assist the removal of
laser-heated material and then deepen the cut channel. In the non-ultrasound condition (Ali
et al., 2013), the bubble diameter can grow up to a few millimeters in water which can
significantly disturb the laser beam and in turn limit the amount of material removed (Xu et
al., 2014). Under the high ultrasonic power and high ultrasonic frequency conditions in water,
Fuchs (1992) noted that a smaller cavitation bubbles can be created compared to the non-
ultrasound environment. As such, the refraction of laser beam caused by the bubbles can be
less. However, the findings shown in Fig. 6.2(a) indicate that though a deeper cut can be made
under the high ultrasonic power and high ultrasonic frequency, the assist of ultrasound in the
underwater laser machining process can attenuate the cut depth in some conditions compared
to the non-ultrasound results (Charee et al., 2015). The near-field surface cooling might play
a significant role during the ablation in ultrasonic environment as suggested by Kang et al.
(2012). This could limit the heat energy conducting toward the workpiece so as a deep cut
created. By contrast, using the high ultrasonic power and high vibrating frequency can

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ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

enhance the magnitude of acoustic wave to assist the material removal (Nguyen et al., 2014).
These can thus be implied that the contribution of ultrasound in the underwater laser ablation
process is of significance when the sufficient ultrasonic power and frequency are applied.

Fig. 6.2(b) and (c) indicates that the groove depth increases with the water flow rate for
all ultrasonic powers and frequencies considered in this study. By using a higher water flow
rate, a stronger flow momentum can be presented at the laser-ablated surface, where two
possible mechanisms would take place to enhance the laser ablation in water. Firstly, the
laser-molten material can be expelled by water flowing across the workpiece, and the cut
channel is to be deepened accordingly. Secondly, the water flushing effect can carry the
material debris and bubbles away to prevent the blocking of laser beam. As such, the laser
beam quality and laser ablation rate can be maintained throughout the process. These findings
are also similar to the work of Tangwarodomnukun et al. (2015) in which a higher water flow
rate can promote a deeper cut in the underwater laser machining process. The effect of laser
traverse speed on the groove depth is shown in Fig. 6.2(d) and (e), providing the similar trend
as the width of cut aforementioned in Fig. 6.2(d) and (e). The slow traverse speed can allow
more amount of laser energy conducting toward the workpiece, thus enlarging the ablated
region. This justification can also be applied to the effect of laser energy depicted in Fig.
6.2(f) and (g). With the use of the ultrasound-assisted underwater laser machining technique,
a deep groove can be made on silicon, while the cut width was found to be marginally
changed.

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Figure 6.2: Effect of process parameters on groove depth

6.3 CUT SURFACE MORPHOLOGY


Besides the cut geometries, the surface quality obtained is also an important concern in the
manufacturing of micro parts. Fig. 6.3 shows the surface morphologies and cut profiles of
silicon after being grooved by the laser under the different ultrasonic conditions considered
in this work. From the figure, it can be noticed that a trench groove was achievable by using
the high ultrasonic power and high ultrasonic frequency (Fig. 6.3(d)); which were 50 W and
60 kHz, respectively. By considering the surface morphology, the rough surface was occurred
along the cut edge especially when the high ultrasonic power was used. This might be due to
the intense stress wave and shock wave that are energized by the high ultrasonic vibrating
amplitude (Nguyen et al., 2014), and in turn cause the high impact pressure to partially
remove the lasersoften silicon along the cut path. In addition, the high ultrasonic power could
cause the moving bubble in water, which potentially interferes the laser beam and make the
beam to not focus on the same position at every laser pulse. This kind of surface feature was
found to be typical in the water-assisted laser machining processes as reported by Wee et al.
(2011) and Tangwarodomnukun et al. (2010). By using a higher ultrasonic frequency, the
bubble size can be smaller (Fuchs, 1992) and the disturbance of bubble to the laser beam can
be minimized accordingly. By comparing the groove surfaces obtained from the low and high
frequency conditions, the former provides the significant waviness and roughness on the cut
surface (Fig. 6.3(a) and (b)), while the latter causes a better cut surface feature (Fig. 6.3(c)
and (d)). This is attributed to the bubble size that is smaller when a higher vibrating frequency

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is used (Fuchs, 1992), thus providing less potential of bubble to block the laser beam and also
making the bubble easy to be flushed away by the water flow.

The micrographs corresponding with Fig. 6.3 are presented in Fig. 6.4, revealing the laser-
ablated surface at the groove bottom. As per the figure, there is no deposition of cut debris
appeared on the groove surface. This is due to the recoil pressure and strong shock wave in
the confined volume of water that can effectively expel the molten silicon from the groove
and prevent the redeposition of material debris on the work surface. In addition, the shock
wave caused by the forming and collapsing of cavitation bubble can plastically deform or
even remove the laser-softened solid silicon, thus resulting in the small holes and slip bands
on the groove surface as shown in Fig. 6.4. The collapsing of bubble at the laser-irradiated
area in water can form a micro jet impinging with a high shock pressure toward to the target
surface (Nguyen et al., 2014). Intrinsically, the laser-heated material whose status is in
between solid and liquid phases (softened solid) can be deformed or even removed by this
generated shock pressure. Since there are several bubbles collapsing at a time, the laser-
softened material at the work surface is bombarded by many micro jets and in turn resulted
in small hole formation on the ablated surface. Regarding the slip band formation, Yasutake
et al. (1987) noted that the brittle-to-ductile silicon can cause such deformation when the
temperature is greater than 500 C. It is therefore believe that the brittle-to-ductile transition
of silicon could take place during the ablation by using this presented technique.Under the
ultrasound with water flow environment, the nearfield surface cooling can be apparent to
carry heat from the workpiece (Kang et al., 2012), where the molten silicon was rapidly
quenched after each laser pulse. This can induce the thermal stress shocking and then initiate
crack on the silicon surface. With the use of the high ultrasonic power or high ultrasonic
frequency, the crack is likely developed as evidently shown in Fig. 6.4. However, the strong
vibration caused by the high ultrasonic power and frequency (Fig. 6.4(d)) can provide a
cleaner machined surface than the other conditions.

6.4 SURFACE CHARACTERISTICS OF SILICON


ABLATED IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS
The top surface characteristic of silicon obtained after the laser ablation in air, in still water
with ultrasound, in flowing water and in flowing water with ultrasound is shown in Fig. 6.5.
In general, the laser ablation of silicon in air produces the augmented deposition of material
debris along the cut. The recoil generated by the plasma formation above the laser-irradiated
surface is responsible for the ejection of molten material from the laser-heated region. This
mechanism therefore causes a number of spatter or droplet depositions on the ablated surface
and the cut vicinity as shown in Fig. 6.5(a). This consequence is in fact unacceptable for
making the precise and highquality micro parts. Moreover, the accumulation of excessive
heat can change the material properties of workpiece, hence affecting the functionality of part
manufactured.

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By grooving silicon in water without the ultrasonic vibration, there was no significant cut
made on the silicon surface. The cavitation bubble whose diameter can be

Figure 6.3: Surface morphology of silicon obtained when the ultrasonic powers of (a and c)
20 W and (b and d) 50 W, and ultrasonic frequencies of (a and b) 20 kHz and (c and d) 60

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kHz were used (water flow 4 l/min; traverse speed 50 mm/min and laser pulse energy 0.2
mJ).

Figure 6.4: High magnification surface morphology of silicon obtained when the ultrasonic
powers of (a and c) 20 W and (b and d) 50 W, and ultrasonic frequencies of (a and b) 20 kHz
and (c and d) 60 kHz were used (water flow 4 l/min; traverse speed 50 mm/min and laser
pulse energy 0.2 mJ).

increased up to a few millimeters (Nguyen et al., 2014) can crucially disturb the laser beam
and in turn attenuates the laser intensity which is below the threshold of silicon removal.
When the ultrasound was applied in still water, most of the debris deposition can be
eliminated as shown in Fig. 6.6(b). However, some large debris can still be seen on the
workpiece surface, although the ultrasound was applied into the process. The cut channel
obtained in the still water condition was insignificantly formed, in which the workpiece
surface was rather melted and removed partially. By flowing water over the workpiece, the
material debris can be carried away from the work surface and a remarkable groove can then
be created. The cut surface and surrounding region shown in Fig. 6.6(c) (e) were found to be
cleaner than that obtained from the ablation in air and in still water. However, the cut surface
was rough where microholes and chipping can be seen along the cut. This is owing to the
water flow that induces the removal of molten silicon and also provides the rapid quenching
of workpiece. With the use of ultrasound together with the water flow, a narrower cut can be
created. This is attributed to the ultrasonic-induced smaller bubbles that lessen the laser beam
interference. Furthermore, using the high ultrasonic frequency and high ultrasonic power can
mechanically assist the ablation, thus increasing the material removal rate and groove aspect
ratio.

B.Tech 2017 15 Dept. of ME


ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

The micrograph of bottom groove surfaces of Fig. 6.6is presented in Fig. 6.7, showing
that a smooth and uniform groove can be obtained when silicon is machined in the flowing
water with ultrasound environment (Fig. 6.7(d) and (e)). The energydispersive x-ray
spectrometer (EDS) was used to characterize the oxygen and carbon compositions of the
ablated surface. The EDS results are given in Table 4, revealing that the percentage of oxygen
and carbon are high when the laser ablation is performed in ambient air. According to these
measures, silicon oxides and silicon carbides could be formed on the laser-ablated surface.
These compounds are normally unacceptable in the manufacturing of silicon-based
components, needing some post-processes to clean them off the surface. When silicon was
cut in still water with ultrasound environment, the oxygen and carbon contents were found to
be the lowest among the other conditions. This is attributed to the low laser ablation rate that
limits the groove formation and the laserheated surface to actively react with the oxygen and
carbon in water (Charee et al., 2015).

By ablating silicon in the flowing water environment, the oxygen and carbon contents
found on the workpiece surface were higher than in the still water condition. As per Table 4,
the laser ablation in the flowing water with ultrasonic can reduce the deposition of carbon by
a half of that found in the condition without ultrasound. This is attributed to the ultrasonic-
induced bubble that is actively moved above the workpiece surface and lessens the amount
of carbon diffusion. According to this finding, it has been proven that the ultrasound can assist
the flushing of cut debris, cooling of workpiece and preventing of material deposition in the
underwater laser ablation process.

B.Tech 2017 16 Dept. of ME


ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

Figure 6.5: Surface characteristics of silicon after laser ablation: (a) in air; (b) in flowing
water of 4 l/min; (c) in ultrasonic and water without flow (closed chamber); (d) in ultrasonic
(20 kHz and 20 W); (e) in ultrasonic (60 kHz and 50 W) with the flowing water of 4 l/min,
when laser pulse frequency = 30 kHz, traverse speed = 50 mm/min and laser pulse energy =
0.2 mJ.

B.Tech 2017 17 Dept. of ME


ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

Figure 6.6: Cut surface obtained at the groove center after laser ablation: (a) in air; (b) in
water with the flow rate of 4 l/min (closed chamber); (c) in ultrasonic and water without flow
rate (closed chamber); (d) in ultrasonic (20 kHz and 20 W); (e) in ultrasonic (60 kHz and 50
W) with the flow rate of 4 l/min (closed chamber), when laser pulse energy = 0.2 mJ, laser
pulse frequency = 30 kHz, traverse speed = 50 mm/min.

B.Tech 2017 18 Dept. of ME


CHAPTER 7

CONCLUSIONS
The single-crystalline silicon wafer was grooved by using a nanosecond-pulse laser in the
flowing water with ultrasound environment. The effects of ultrasonic power, ultrasonic
frequency, water flow rate, laser pulse energy and laser traverse speed on groove geometry
and cut surface morphology were investigated. The findings and implication of this work can
be drawn as follows:

1) By using the ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser micromachining technique, the


ultrasound can energize water to actively flush the cut debris, push the molten material away
from the cut surface and rapidly cool the workpiece during the laser ablation of silicon in
water. In addition, the directional flow of water moving across the workpiece can promote
the flushing and cooling effects which can result in a better machining performance than that
provided by the general underwater laser ablation techniques.

2) When the high ultrasonic power and ultrasonic frequency were employed, a clean and
deep groove can be made on silicon while the cut width was found to be marginally changed.
Though a deeper cut channel could be possibly made under a higher ultrasonic power or
frequency, a stronger shock pressure generated by the forming and collapsing of cavitation
bubble could propagate crack and cause the significant micro-fracture on the work surface.
This has been an important concern to be accommodated in order to yield the acceptable cut
quality by using this laser ablation technique.

3) The amount of oxygen and carbon contents found on the cut surface can be limited
when the ablation was performed in flowing water with ultrasound condition. However, the
high kinematic energy of water under the ultrasound condition can encourage the oxidation
reaction to the laser-heated work surface. By using a proper liquid solution, these chemical
depositions could be minimized.

ULTRASONIC ASSISTED UNDERWATER LASER MICROMACHINING OF SILICON

4) As per the experimental findings explored in this study, the ultrasonic-assisted


underwater laser ablation technique could be of potential for machining silicon as well as
other difficultto- cut and/or thermal-sensitive materials that are unlikely to be done by laser
ablation in ambient air. The manufacturing of micro-components could gain much from this
technique. However, the liquid medium is not limited to water, but any kind of solutions that
is able to provide high thermal convection and encourage the ultrasonic effects to assist the
cutting performance. Obviously, there are rooms to developed and advance this technique to
further optimize the process and its viability for more practical applications.

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5) Further investigations and analyses of shock pressure, bubble formation and their
effects on the laser ablation performance in the ultrasonic-water environments should be
carried out to enable a better insight into the laser ablation characteristics and process
mechanics of the ultrasonic-assisted underwater laser machining process.

B.Tech 2016 Dept. of ME

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REFERENCES
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ambient environment on the pulsed laser ablation of titanium. Appl. Surf. Sci. 270,
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[2] Charee, W., Tangwarodomnukun, V., Dumkum, C., 2015.. Laser ablation of silicon in
water under different flow rates. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 78, 1929.

[3] Chiu, C.C., Chang, C.H., Lee, Y.C., 2010..Ultrasound assisted laser machining and
surface cleaning. In: 5th IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and
Molecular Systems, NEMS 2010, Xiamen, pp. 872875.

[4] Dowding, C.F., Lawrence, J., 2010..Excimer laser machining of bisphenol A


polycarbonate under closed immersion filtered water with varying flow velocities and
the effects on the etch rate. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. B 224, 14691480.

[5] Duangwas, S., Tangwarodomnukun, V., Dumkum, C., 2014.. Development of an


overflow-assisted underwater laser ablation. Mater. Manuf. Processes 29, 12261231.

[6] Fuchs, F.J., 1992..Ultrasonic Cleaning Metal Finishing Guidebook and Directory.
Elsevier Science.

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