Ultrashort pulse lasers with pulse durations in the nano to femto second range (10-12s - 10-15s) enable complete new processing methods and highest processing precision. This allows to process any material as metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers and even biomaterials with high precision and without any additional tool. So the ultrashort pulse laser is a toolless "photonic milling machine" that can reach a maximum of precision and flexibility.
The great advantage compared to other, longer pulsed lasers is the strong localisation of the energy input as well as the focused use of non-linear absorption mechanisms. In particular the use of pulse durations shorter than 15 ps allows very high qualities by preventing the interaction between the laser beam and the resulting melt, particularly for metals. The use of ultrashort pulse lasers reduces the melting depostition which increases the quality of ablation processes, drilling of holes or cutting of metal foils. The photons primarily interact with the electrons of the material so that the energy of the laser is deposed in the electronic transfers and the excitation of the electron gas. The energy transfer of the electrons to the lattice structure happens delayed with specific time constants, for metals in the range of picoseconds. Only after that (>100 ps) it comes to the phase transition of the material up the the vaporisation and ablation of the mateterial. At this time the laser pulse is already over, so that there is no interaction of the laser beam with the resulting material steam. The processing geometry only defined by the geometry of the laser beam. The high intensities > 1012 W/cm2 enable processing, independently of the optical characteristics of the mateterial. Due to the non-linear absorption phenomena even weakly absorbing materials like silicon or transparent materials like glass, diamond or saphire can be processed efficiently.