17 Décembre – Thesis defense - Guillaume Bonamis

08 h30 Amphi F - Building A29 (Talence campus)

Conception and realisation of a femtosecond laser source with GHz-level pulse repetition rate and application to high repetition rate ablation regime.

These last two decades, femtosecond laser technology has gained considerably in terms of maturity and reliability. These laser pulses enable materials micro-machining with minimal thermal collateral effects, thus allowing to work with an outstanding precision, even on materials highly sensitive to temperature. Nevertheless, the penetration of femtosecond processing into the industrial manufacturing market is limited due to an insufficient productivity. The current strategies consist of optimizing the processes on the one hand and increasing the average power of these laser sources on the other hand.  Another way suggests increasing the femtosecond ablation process efficiency by delivering bursts of low-energy pulses instead of one highly energetic pulse.
Recent works showed that using bursts of pulses at repetition rates on the order of GHz allows to reach ablation rates one order of magnitude higher than the ones obtained by standard femtosecond pulse machining. Nevertheless, these promising results are controversial, as other works point out levels of efficiency lower than expected, added to collateral thermal damages on the machined materials. A thorough study of this new ablation regime is thus necessary to ensure that its interest is justified on the one hand, and to point out the optimal configurations of its use on the other hand. Several optical oscillators delivering bursts of femtosecond pulses at GHz-level repetition rates and laser amplifiers have been developed to this purpose. These innovating laser systems benefit from great flexibility in terms of reachable laser parameters (pulse repetition rate and energy, number of pulses per burst notably). This flexibility allowed us to perform a thorough study of the GHz-ablation regime by numerous machining experiments on several materials of industrial interest. This study points out the influence of the different laser parameters and thus to explain the variety of results related to GHz-ablation and to guide the use of this regime under favorable conditions to reach an efficient and high-quality machining.

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