Stealth dicing of sapphire sheets with low surface roughness, zero kerf width, debris/crack-free and zero taper using a femtosecond Bessel beam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Zhaoqing Li
  • Xuefeng Wang
  • Junlong Wang
  • Wei Guo
  • Wenyan Gao
  • Nan Jia


Previous approaches for laser beam cutting of sapphire often lead to chipping, debris, large kerf widths, tapering and high surface roughness or nonuniform surfaces. Laser beam stealth dicing can remove kerf width and tapering, reduce defects. However, sidewall uniformity is poor as part of the material is laser cut and part is broken by an external mechanical force. In previous approaches of Bessel beam full depth cutting of sapphire, uniformity can be improved. However, the sidewall surface roughness is poor. There has been lack of an ideal solution to achieving minimum defects and low surface roughness. Here we show a much improved sapphire cutting method with a femtosecond Bessel beam achieving a 200 nm Ra cut surface roughness, which is almost an order of magnitude improvement over the previous Bessel beam cutting approaches without losing the uniformity. By using a diameter reduced Gaussian beam passing through a 20° physical angle axicon lens, a highly uniform non-diffraction Bessel beam is generated. Under circular polarization, the effects of Bessel beam scanning speed on flexural strength and the sidewall surface roughness are analyzed for cutting sapphire sheets of 0.38 mm, 1 mm, and 1.5 mm in thickness. Zero taper, zero kerf width, free of debris/chipping sapphire cutting with both straight and curved lines are demonstrated. The fundamental mechanisms involved are discussed. The uniformity of Bessel beam and appropriate separation of pulses have been identified as the key factors for achieving the low surface roughness.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number106713
JournalOptics and Laser Technology
Early online date10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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