3D-Processing of transparent media - ISLE

A very innovative process for 3D-Structuring of transparent parts is the so called "selective laseretching" (ISLE - In volume Selective Laser Etching) This process consists of two steps.


In a first step the material will be modified using the fs-laser radiation.

Due to this modification the etching rate of the modified volume will increase up to four orders of magnitude.

The second step is to remove the modified volume by a standard etching process.

Source: LLT RWTH-Aachen

ISLE is especially suited to modify saphir or fused-silica. The spatial resolution is in the order of the wavelength used (here typically 1µm).

Possible applications of the ISLE process are listed below

  • Manufacturing of aspherical, freeform lenses
  • Microlens arrays
  • Manufacturing of functional glass parts
  • Surfacetreatment
  • Microfluidics

ISLE process is very stable and robust when using fs-lasers and a high repetition rate is necessary to achieve a smooth surface - both are characteristics of AMPHOS laser systems.

Experiments using a high-power fs-Laser show, that the ISLE process is scalable with higher output power.

Source: LLT RWTH-Aachen