An important field for biocompatible polymers is the production of vision implants known as intraocular lenses (IOL) or customized contact lenses.
Typically, the manufacture of curved surfaces is accomplished by mechanical means such as milling, turning, or lathe cutting. 3D objects/surfaces can also be manufactured using laser micromachining; however, producing a surface finish with surface roughness values lower than 1 µm Ra is difficult due to the nature of light-matter interaction.
Bursts of femtosecond laser pulses enable polishing of bio-compatible hydrophilic acrylic polymer surface to a roughness value of less than 50 nm. A laser-polished surface demonstrates a transparent appearance, and the process shows great promise towards the commercial fabrication of low surface roughness custom-shape optics.
Femtosecond laser CARBIDE is a number one choice for polymer polishing. It is capable of processing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic acrylic polymers.
- 190 fs – 20 ps tunable pulse duration
- 2 mJ maximum pulse energy
- 80 W maximum output power
- Single-shot – 2 MHz repetition rate
- Air-cooled version
Micromachining of Transparent Biocompatible Polymers Applied in Medicine Using Bursts of Femtosecond Laser Pulses
E. Kažukauskas, S. Butkus, P. Tokarski, V. Jukna, M. Barkauskas, and V. Sirutkaitis, Micromachines 12 (11), 1093 (2020).