Powder blasting, or abrasive jet machining (AJM), is a technique in which a particle jet is directed
towards a target for mechanical material removal.
- It is a fast, cheap and accurate directional etch technique for brittle materials
such as glass, silicon and ceramics.
- The particle jet can be optimized for etching, while an eventual mask (according to the geometries to be patterned)
defines the small and complex structures.
- It is a fast process; the time to etch through a 1.5 mm thick quartz wafer with one nozzle is approximately 60 secs
in our set-up based on a Model HME II Unit from
S.S. White Technologies, Inc. (151 Old New Brunswick Road, Piscataway, NJ08854).
- The particles are accelerated towards the target with a high-pressure.
- The airflow is mixed with the particles by a vibrating feeder.
- The mixture is directed through a circular tungsten nozzle (with a diameter variable from 0.35 to 0.8 mm)
at the end of the tube.
- The particles hit the target with a speed, depending on the air pressure, in a separate box.
- Particles are made of alumina with a grain size variable from 23 to 95 mm.
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