laser drilling, microvias, thermal model, beam shaping, lens design


Laser drilling of microvias for organic packaging applications is studied in present research. Thermal model is essential to understand the laser-materials interactions and to control laser drilling of blind micro holes through polymeric dielectrics in multilayer electronic substrates. In order to understand the profile of the drilling front irradiated with different laser beam profiles, a transient heat conduction model including vaporization parameters is constructed. The absorption length in the dielectric is also considered in this model. Therefore, the volumetric heating source criteria are applied in the model and the equations are solved analytically. The microvia drilling speed, temperature distribution in the dielectric and the thickness of the residue along the microvia walls and at the bottom of the microvia are studied for different laser irradiation conditions. An overheated metastable state of material is found to exist inside the workpiece. The overheating parameters are calculated for various laser drilling parameters and are used to predict the onset of thermal damage and to minimize the residue. As soon as a small cavity is formed during the drilling process, the concave curvature of the drilling front acts as a concave lens that diverges the incident laser beam. This self-defocusing effect can greatly reduce the drilling speed. This effect makes the refractive index of the substrate at different wavelengths an important parameter for laser drilling. A numerical thermal model is built to study the effect of self-defocusing for laser microvias drilling in multilayer electronic substrates with Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers.. The laser ablation thresholds was calculated with this model for the CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers respectively. Due to the expulsion of materials because of high internal pressures in the case of Nd:YAG laser microvia drilling, the ablation threshold may be far below the calculated value. A particular laser beam shape, such as pitch fork, was found to drill better holes than the Gaussian beam in terms of residue and tapering angle. Laser beam shaping technique is used to produce the desired pitchfork beam. Laser beam shaping allows redistribution of laser power and phase across the cross-section of the beam for drilling perfectly cylindrical holes. An optical system, which is comprised of three lenses, is designed to transform a Gaussian beam into a pitchfork beam. The first two lenses are the phase elements through which a Gaussian laser beam is transformed into a super Gaussian beam. The ray tracing technique of geometrical optics is used to design these phase elements. The third lens is the transform element which produces a pitchfork profile at the focal plane due to the diffraction effect. A pinhole scanning power meter is used to measure the laser beam profile at the focal plane to verify the existence of the pitchfork beam. To account for diffraction effect, the above mentioned laser beam shaping system was optimized by iterative method using Adaptive Additive algorithm. Fresnel diffraction is used in the iterative calculation. The optimization was target to reduce the energy contained in the first order diffraction ring and to increase the depth of focus for the system. Two diffractive optical elements were designed. The result of the optimization was found dependent on the relation between the diameter of the designed beam shape and the airy disk diameter. If the diameter of the designed beam is larger, the optimization can generate better result. Drilling experiment is performed with a Q-switched CO2 laser at wavelength of 9.3 μm. Comparison among the drilling results from Gaussian beam, Bessel beam and Pitchfork beam shows that the pitchfork beam can produce microvias with less tapering angle and less residue at the bottom of the via. Laser parameters were evaluated experimentally to study their influences on the via quality. Laser drilling process was optimized based on the evaluation to give high quality of the via and high throughput rate. Nd:YAG laser at wavelengths of 1.06 μm and 532 nm were also used in this research to do microvias drilling. Experimental result is compared with the model. Experimental results show the formation of convex surfaces during laser irradiation. These surfaces eventually rupture and the material is removed explosively due to high internal pressures. Due to the short wavelength, high power, high efficiency and high repetition rate, these lasers exhibit large potentials for microvias drilling.


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Graduation Date



Kar, Aravinda


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering








Release Date

September 2011

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)