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PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Portland laser start-up, FiLaser has successfully licensed a key patent from the University of Toronto (U of T), effectively enabling it to control so-called Burst-Pulse Laser Machining in the USA and Canada. Through a commercial arrangement, FiLaser has negotiated exclusive access to this technology as it relates to the company's approach to cutting and drilling brittle materials, such as glass and silicon. "The technique involves some complex, non-linear physics; the commercial arrangement was significantly less complex", quipped FiLaser CEO, Jeffrey Albelo.
The 3 year old startup has lately wowed customers with their technical approach to cutting glass at previously unheard of thicknesses (up to 6 mm) and linear processing speeds (up to 1.2 m/s). Based upon picosecond laser engines provided by Coherent, the company has developed a keen ability to cut the toughest glass out there, including glass after it has been chemically and thermally tempered – which is unique to the FiLaser process. Portable electronic devices, such as tablets and smart phones require tough substrates in order to stand up to the rigors of daily life. FiLaser's technology offers today's manufacturers production options previously unavailable. The approach is generic across brittle materials and offers the tantalizing possibility to process sheets of sapphire with similarly stunning results, which could one-day replace chemically tempered glass with the already very scratch resistant sapphire. The technique is especially well suited to brittle materials of sufficient transparency to the laser beam. Coated or not, on one side or two, chemically or thermally treated, LEDs with and without DBR layers, the process robustly produces parts without chipping, containing complex splines and chamfered edges. Of particular interest have been substrates made from LiNbO3 and LiTaO3, which are notoriously difficult to process using any available technique, but have been processed without defect using the FiLaser process. Albelo noted, "...there are a number of areas for which the simple application of cutting and shaping silicon, glass and sapphire can be envisioned, but the real value of our technology lies in some of the new manufacturing techniques that we are in the process of developing. Stay tuned, more 'interesting physics' are on the way".
The patent is based upon work conducted by U of T inventors Professor Robin Majoribanks and Professor Peter Herman, in collaboration with then student Anton Öttl, now leading Qubig GmbH. The invention covers certain time-dependent phenomena associated with so-called burst–pulse laser processing of a variety of substrates and the subsequent modifications of the materials thus processed. It covers a broad swath of technologies encompassing both picosecond and femtosecond laser platforms and laser process solutions. "It is quite likely that anybody utilizing lasers for these types of processes will require a sub-license from FiLaser," noted Portland Intellectual Property Attorney, Mark Hubert, "it really provides them with a key addition to their IP portfolio."
FiLaser is based in Portland Oregon and maintains an R&D facility there and in Toronto, Canada. It was founded by Dr. Abbas Hosseini, and Messrs. Jung Un Na and Albelo. The company's approach to brittle materials micro machining is based upon techniques first conceived of by Dr. Hosseini. He is a pioneer in the field of analytical filamentation and the attendant non-linear laser physics accompanying filament generation. FiLaser can be reached via their website, www.filaser.com.
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