Micro-Column Arrays (MCA)

Surface modification of different materials is commonly created using a variety of ablative and chemical processes.   The formed structures enhance the total surface area of the substrate, which serves as an advantage for numerous applications in bonding and heat management.  In addition to the physical modifications of the surface, the optical properties of the formed surfaces including absorption, reflection and emissivity are altered as well, which opens up a new list of applications, such as wide-spectrum optical calibration, blackbody simulator sources, and a few others.   IMS has managed to adopt a laser-based ablative process that can create on material surfaces uniform and highly packed micro-sized structures, named as Micro-Column Arrays (MCA).  The process is well-defined in a proprietary scheme using unique high-energy pulsed-laser mode that is unique to each type of material.   Modified surfaces produced by this process contribute to superior sharp (micro/nano-sized) structures, which enhance the physical and optical properties of those surfaces.

Formation of MCAs from capillary waves occurs due to variation of the surface absorptivity with respect to the incidence angle of the laser radiation.  Inhomogeneity of the temperature distribution along the solid surface leads to the redistribution of the melt due to temperature dependence of the surface tension coefficient. The relative contribution of these two factors (evaporation-condensation and melt displacement) to the process of the MCA formation depends both on the material and the environment.  Below are SEM photos of typical Micro-Column Arrays (MCA) formed on different materials using unique laser beam modalities:

Stainless Steel Silicon Carbide-based Ceramic
Silicon Nitride-based Ceramic Titanium

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