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Micromachining and dicing of sapphire, gallium nitride and micro LED devices with UV copper vapour laser

Gu, E. and Jeon, C.W. and Choi, H.W. and Rice, G.B. and Dawson, M.D. and Illy, E.K. and Knowles, M.R.H. (2004) Micromachining and dicing of sapphire, gallium nitride and micro LED devices with UV copper vapour laser. Thin Solid Films, 453 (1). pp. 462-466. ISSN 0040-6090

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Gallium nitride (GaN) and sapphire are important materials for fabricating photonic devices such as high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs). These materials are strongly resistant to wet chemical etching and also, low etch rates restrict the use of dry etching. Thus, to develop alternative high resolution processing and machining techniques for these materials is important in fabricating novel photonic devices. In this work, a repetitively pulsed UV copper vapour laser (255 nm) has been used to machine and dice sapphire, GaN and micro LED devices. Machining parameters were optimised so as to achieve controllable machining and high resolution. For sapphire, well-defined grooves 30 μm wide and 430 μm deep were machined. For GaN, precision features such as holes on a tens of micron length scale have been fabricated. By using this technique, compact micro LED chips with a die spacing 100 and a 430 μm thick sapphire substrate have been successfully diced. Measurements show that the performances of LED devices are not influenced by the UV laser machining. Our results demonstrate that the pulsed UV copper vapour laser is a powerful tool for micromachining and dicing of photonic materials and devices.