An ultrafast laser able to weld ceramics at room temperature could offer a new way to insulate electronics without damaging them.
Though ceramics make excellent insuators for electronics, the high heat typically used to shape and solidify the material would damage most components. To overcome this limitation, the teams from UC San Diego and UC Riverside turned to a method called ultrafast pulsed laser welding. Because the process focuses the energy in a precise location, the heat is localized and does not spread through the ceramic—or to the components inside. The process can be used in ambient conditions and with less than 50 watts of laser power, which is more efficient than current furnace-based methods.
The researchers are working to improve the process, which could have applications ranging from medical implants to electronics for use in space and other extreme environments.