ClearSurface femtosecond laser process

Spectra-Physics® introduces ClearSurface™, a patent-pending femtosecond laser process for surface functionalization.  The novel process allows the patterning of high-resolution shapes, each with individually tailored surface properties.  With the new process, the degree of wettability can controlled from super-hydrophobic, or highly water repellant, to super-hydrophilic.  Utilizing the widely deployed Spirit® family of industrial femtosecond lasers, ClearSurface enables the fabrication of new medical devices, micro-fluidics, sensors, and other precision parts and devices with controlled and patterned surface properties.

“The new ClearSurface process produces astonishing results that enable a new class of devices and parts for medical, bio-analytical, precision manufacturing and other applications,” says Klaus Madlener, general manager of Spectra-Physics Rankweil.  “ClearSurface is another exciting demonstration of our leadership in femtosecond applications and products that power new customer applications.”

ClearSurface can be used to create extremely hydrophobic surfaces with high contact angles (>160 degrees) for water droplets, so that even in standing water, the processed surface effectively repels water.  ClearSurface can also be used to generate surfaces with a specified degree of wettability or contact angle.  These specified surface properties can be patterned in high-resolution into adjacent regions for custom device or part designs and shapes.

ClearSurface complements Spectra-Physics’ ClearShape™ femtosecond laser process for fast, highest quality cutting of transparent brittle materials, including glass and sapphire.  Both processes use the highly successful Spirit family of industrial femtosecond lasers.  The Spirit industrial laser platform has passed extensive environmental qualification testing to ensure high reliability in demanding 24/7 applications.

Analysis and opinion

By Dave MacLellan, Executive Director, AILU


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