Micro Hole Drilling

IPG Photonics application engineers have developed

both excimer and solid state laser techniques

for high quality micro hole drilling processing.


The excimer utilizes a mask projection

scheme, and solid state uses a Galvonometer,

which provides high throughput and high

quality laser drilling. Here we show

examples of micro drilling techniques

in metals, polymers, glass,

ceramics and aluminas.

Micro-drilling applications include both through holes and blind holes, and can demand vertical sidewalls or tapered sidewalls, depending on the application. Hole diameters can be down to 2 microns, with sub-micron placement accuracy. Drilling rates up to 1,000 holes per second are available.

Each material has unique challenges, from thermal affectation to laser coupling. IPG’s range of laser types and beam delivery technologies allow optimization for each application, and can be implemented as high-speed fully-automated manufacturing solutions.


There is an increased interest on the laser fabrication of variable shape and small size features (<100 microns), with controlled or zero taper, on a large variety of materials, and covering a large range of thicknesses up to several millimeters. The quality and throughput requirements continue to increase, with tighter tolerances regarding dimensional and positional specs. Consequently, improved manufacturing techniques, with advanced process control and laser sources, need to be developed to be able to address ever increasing industry requirements.

Ceramic Drilling

IPG's high-speed ceramic drilling systems are optimized for drilling micro-holes (typically <100 mm diameter) in alumina and aluminum nitride and similar ceramic materials for electronic device packaging and interposer applications.

With a minimum hole size capability down to <10 microns and maximum drilling rates > 1,000 holes per second, the Ceramic Driller addresses those sub-100 µm applications that are difficult to address with traditional CO2 lasers

Figure shows 20,000 holes drilled in 380 µm alumina.

System: Ceramic Driller

Lasers: Single-mode QCW lasers, multi-mode QCW lasers, picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  laser microdrilling ceramics

Metal Drilling

Blind holes and through holes in stainless steel, brass, molybdenum and alloys.

Circular and non-regular shapes.

Exit holes down to 5 microns diameter. 

Shown here are seven 100 mm holes in 100 mm thick molybdenum.

System: Multi-axis Drilling

Lasers: Single-mode QCW lasers, multi-mode QCW lasers, picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  laser microdrilling metal

Polymer Thermoset Drilling

Minimum feature sizes down to 2 microns.

To the right: Inkjet nozzle with square counter bore.

System: Polymer Film Driller/Cutter

 Lasers: green ns pulsed lasers, picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  polymer thermoset laser microdrilling

Polymer Thermoplastic Drilling

Through and blind holes in thermoplastics. Hole diameters down to 2 microns. Typically using UV processing with multi-hole large-field-of view for high throughput. 

 To the right: Array of 30 µm holes through 1mm ABS

System: Microfluidic Drilling System

Lasers: green ns pulsedlasers, picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  Polymer Thermoplastic Laser Microdrilling

SiN Probe Card Drilling

Laser fabrication of variable shape and small size holes (<100 microns), with controlled or zero taper, on a large variety of materials. IPG’s micromachining laser systems utilize a proprietary beam delivery technique for high-speed drilling that produces micro holes in less than 1 second in thicknesses below 250 µm, and less than 2 seconds for 380 µm thick silicon nitride.

Figure shows 65x65 µm holes with 10 µm side walls through 200 µm thick SiN.

System: Probe Card Drilling System

Lasers: picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  SiN Probe Card laser microdrilling with thin walls

Glass Drilling

Lasers with high repetition rates and short wavelength are ideal for micro drilling glass. These lasers combined with IPG’s precision micromachining workstation provide quality hole roundness, sharp corner cutting, minimal taper, no cracks and minimum chipping.

Figure shows drilling 1 µm holes in glass.

Systems:  Microfluidic Drilling System, Dual Laser R&D System

Lasers: Single-mode QCW lasers, multi-mode QCW lasers, picosecond lasers, UV ns pulsed lasers

  laser hole drilling in glass

Metrology Lab – Nashua, NH

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