7 July 2014: Specific instructions and guidance are now on the Communal UV Laser GoogleDoc
The laser is a diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser that has been frequency-tripled into the UV range. It uses a galvo and f-theta lens to rapidly pattern areas up to about 8cm^2 with a spot size in the ~15um range, if properly focused. It is good for cutting and marking thin sheets of many materials. By controlling the speed and repetition rate or duty cycle one can ensure ablation of materials without much local melting. Empirical cut parameters for various materials are in the Googledoc listed above.
Location and access
The laser is currently in the fire hazard room of the Charm Lab in 126 MERL (directly to the left after entering the main lab).
Access is being managed by Lizmarie Comenencia Ortiz <firstname.lastname@example.org> and requires getting card access via building manager Cris Chrismon <email@example.com>. It's delicate and precise, so nobody should be using it without training.
Lizmarie maintains a Google Spreadsheet of trained users. Several of the senior members on this list are good contacts for training new users.
- Notes from SURI student MarkCuson on experiments cutting thin copper-coated kapton and metallized mylar during summer 2014.
- PhD Thesis of Andrew Baisch at Harvard with some details on using a DPSS UV laser to fabricate insect robot structures and printed circuits (p. 19)
- Tech. report by Jaakko Karras at Berkeley with some details on fabricating sensors for OctoRoach and similar robots.
Related links on film selection (Mylar vs Kapton, etc)
- UC Berkeley Micro Drug Delivery System uses a method of priming PDMS and Mylar with oxygen plasma so that they can be permanently bonded
- 25 micron Kapton metallized with 50-100nm aluminum (but very expensive)
July 2014: It has arrived and is undergoing its "shakedown cruise." Should be able to make very small (down to 10-15um wide) cuts in a wide range of thin materials (<1mm thick).
A spreadsheet is being maintained to log laser power output to aid diagnostics. The spreadsheet also contains tools to help with temperature tuning.