Blog

February 05, 2016.

Laser Cutting Silicon Wafers for NIST to Advance Solar Industry Standard

Potomac’s Photonics expertise in laser micromachining fragile materials helps NIST test new solar cells to ensure the solar energy industry’s manufacturing standards. Solar energy is the fastest growing source of energy in the United States and the total install base is expanding exponentially.  With explosive growth comes the need for better photovoltaic [PV] cells in ...

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January 29, 2016.

Laser Micromachining Polymer Stencils Help Generate Stem Cell Lines at Stanford’s Cardiovascular Institute

In the Pharmaceutical industry more and more drugs never make it out of the lab to reach the patients that need treatment.  Costs are not only high to the companies that have placed big R&D bets to develop novel drugs, but also to the patients who cannot be helped and the insurance companies who must ...

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Rectangles 16.7 microns by 110 microns in diameter in Kapton stencil.
January 19, 2016.

Advanced Manufacturing Job Opportunities Through “Middle-Skill” STEM Education

In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about STEM education.  STEM comprises Science – Technology – Engineering – Math and sometimes is called STEAM when Art is added into the mix in order to include the design component.  STEM education is important because more and more studies demonstrate that in the next industrial ...

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December 24, 2015.

When to Choose Laser Micromachining Part 4: Tolerance and Accuracy

Laser micromachining at very small spatial scales demands special attention to precision. Anyone who has ever tried to assemble DIY furniture where holes were slightly off from part to part knows the frustration part variation can cause even for simple home projects. As you can imagine, precision takes on new meaning when drilling holes that ...

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Laser Micromachining of  Small Holes in Metal Filters
November 04, 2015.

When to Choose Laser Micromachining Part 3: Creating Holes, Cuts and Features with Smooth Surfaces

At Potomac innovation is not just another buzzword.  Everyone, from our engineers to the operators on the shop floor, is continually looking for new ways to push the limits of standard laser micromachining technology.  Almost perfectly smooth parts have been one of the manufacturing technology quests Potomac has successfully conquered through in-house manufacturing process innovation. ...

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October 20, 2015.

When to Choose Laser Micromachining Part 2: Pushing the Limits of Small

When we need to make very small holes, cuts, lines and features laser micromachining is usually the best choice in our digital fabrication toolbox. Lasers that emit light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum are especially useful in biotech and medical device applications since they can create features as small as 1 micron – ...

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October 14, 2015.

When to Choose Laser Micromachining Part 1: Material Absorption of Laser Wavelength

All material processing starts, of course, with the material.  Laser micromachining is a good option for manufacturing parts since materials absorb light resulting in a physical transformation of the material’s structure.  Whether it’s a thermal process as with infrared lasers or the ultraviolet lasers’ photo-ablative mechanism, laser light can drill holes, cut, weld, and mark ...

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