In several applications in MEMS/NEMS manufacturing, processes for dicing, through holes, or cavity generation such as sawing, etching are either not economical, not applicable or just do not deliver the specified quality and resolution. Sawing for example exhibits no constant cut quality due to degradation of the saw blade, causes chipping, mechanical stress and cracks, is difficult to use for thin substrates, needs cooling fluids, which can destroy the function of non encapsulated devices and is only applicable for straight contours. The fabrication of micro parts or through holes using etching is a time consuming process and expensive in the development stage of a project due to the need of cost intensive masks but is favorable in manufacturing due to the batch type process. With ultrashort pulse laser micromachining it is possible to create any 2.5D structures in silicon with high quality, no heat affection of surrounding material and it is not limited to certain substrate shapes.
The precise processing of metals in the micrometer range plays an important role not only in MEMS/NEMS applications for example for sensors, actuators and mask fabrication. There is also the need for the fabrication of tools for molding, decorative elements and the marking of devices, to name a few. In a layered combination with other substrates, like in the case of sputtered metals on glass, semiconductors, polymers, etc. or laminated metal sheets, a precise, flexible and furthermore selective structuring method is desired.