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Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision Engineering


The integration of ultrafast lasers with metrology systems allows for closed-loop machining to occur. This allows for a sample of unknown properties to be taken inspected, machined, evaluated, and corrected in a single process which increase precision and reduces manufacturing time.


Chris Wright


Prof. Bill O’Neill

Project overview

The aim is to produce an integrated processing route which uses ultrafast lasers and focused ion beams to increase the throughput of ultra-precision manufacturing. The main focus of this body of work is to develop the ultrafast laser machining platform into a non-contact ultra-precision machine tool with inbuilt metrology for a closed loop machining.

To further the integrated processing route a proof of concept for cross-platform processing will be carried out towards the end of the project.

Combining these two technologies has the potential for three key advantages:

  • Higher degree of flexibility compared to more established technologies.
  • Reduced production time for device prototyping, continuous customisation or low volume devices. 
  • Laser processing has a significantly higher material removal rate than FIB milling which increases throughput for a large range in feature sizes from nm to mm.

A further technology which is being integrated is a Raman system which will allow the in-situ characterisation of carbon allotropes. For example, when used to characterise graphene the Raman system determines presence, numbers of layers, and defects within the body of material. When combined with the machining capabilities of ultrafast lasers the characteristics can be modified. This allows for characterisation, modification and evaluation to occur on a single platform which provides a singular process for device manufacture.