Ablation Masks

As a leading provider of custom optics for high power laser systems, Creative Microsystems also provides the microelectronic and laser micromachining industries with photomasks capable of withstanding the high energies and high peak powers used for laser ablation patterning and micromachining.

Laser ablation is the process of removing material with a high energy laser beam.  At low laser flux, the material is heated by the absorbed laser energy and melts, evaporates or sublimes.  At sufficiently higher energies the material turns into a plasma and rapidly disintegrates (ablates) leaving little or no residue behind.

A material’s optical properties determine the depth at which the laser energy is absorbed and how much energy is required to cause ablation.  Laser pulses can be precisely controlled, which results in accurate and repeatable patterns in a large range of materials.

Creative MicroSystems designs and fabricates a wide variety of ablation masks with high energy Deep UV and infrared lasers.

Ablation patterning advantages include:

  • Easy to automate
  • More precisely controlled than alternatives
  • Heating of the target is minimal

We design and fabricate ablation masks that are used to meet a variety of development and production needs, including drilling vias for flex circuits and ball grid array wiring patterns, ink jet nozzle production, etching solder masks, surface micromachining and patterning biomedical devices.


  • Substrates up to 200mm diameter or 12″ square.
  • Fused silica, sapphire, CaF2, ZnSe/S, Si, Ge, many plastics
  • High uniformity –  High efficiency
  • High damage threshold:
    • >1-3 J/cm2 for dielectric masks or
    • >250 mJ/cm2 for metal masks
  • Minimum feature size: < 5 micron
  • For laser wavelengths from 157nm to 1.06 micron
  • Coating, dicing and packaging options

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