Drilling and Flow Calibrating Small Holes Down to One Micron in Diameter

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Lenox Laser, Inc. drills and flow calibrates small holes from one micron in diameter to six thousand microns in diameter. After flow calibrating, these orifices have a flow diameter that can be used with simple fomulae to accurately predict flow rates through them for any gas or mixture of gases under various pressure and temperature conditions. The shape of the hole has no bearing on the flow diameter thus has no negative bearing on the degree of flow control accuracy.

Flow calibrated holes have found many customer uses over the last thirteen years. They have replaced many other flow control and measuring devices used by industry. They have proven to be less costly, trouble-free and more accurate in almost all cases. These holes are drilled into many different parts and materials, such as, VCR blind gaskets, tubes with a closed end, closed pipe nipples, set screws, and many other custom shapes. The majority of holes that are drilled are in stainless steel, however, many other materials, such as, plastic, glass, and most metals are also in demand.

Let Lenox Laser help you solve your flow control and other flow related problems in an economical and precise way. For more information and technical support call 410-592-3106 or visit our website at http://www.lenoxlaser.com/

Arrays with millions of small micron holes

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Lenox Laser has once again pioneered a new small hole drilling capability. We are now able to drill arrays with millions of micro holes down to 1 micron in size. We are able to drill in a myriad of materials (Tungsten, Moly, Stainless Steel, Silicon) with spacing down to 15 microns. The hole sizes, shapes, and spacing can all be customized per your application. Some ground breaking applications include nozzles, lab on chip sensors, DNA analysis, beam shaping, and CMOS biotechnologies.

 

Please check out our Scanning Electron Microscope(SEM) photos showing a sample of our arrays.

 

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0.5 micron in Molybdenum

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Lenox Laser’s 30th Anniversary Year Brings More Industry Breakthroughs.

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We have been pretty busy this past year- here is a quick update on a little of what we have been doing!

Not only has Lenox Laser set the standard for sub-micron hole drilling repeatability, but we also do it fast. We can now produce over 1 million holes per hour, setting a new record in laser drilling . That may be more holes (total) than we have drilled in our 30 years of operation.

Exciting Breakthrough- 0.5 micron (500 nm) Exact Leaks!

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Lenox Laser has made exciting breakthroughs in the manufacturing processes of exact leaks!

Exact Leaks are calibrated microholes that are repeatedly and reliably generated in packages and/or other pharmaceutical and manufacturing goods.  These microholes are commonly used in integrity testing processes.

Lenox Laser’s new process allows the creation of 0.5 micron holes in a wide variety of materials; including plastics and metals.

 

0.5 Micron Hole
Please visit here: Services- Calibrated Micro-Leaks  on our website for more information.

Lenox Laser Scholarship- “Evaluation of UV LEDs for detection of atmospheric NO2 by photolysis- chemiluminescence”

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Lockheed WP-3D Orion. From NOAA website
Lockheed WP-3D Orion. From NOAA website

 

Evaluation of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes for detection of atmospheric NO2 by photolysis- chemiluminescence
by Ilana B Pollack, Brian M Lerner, and Thomas B Ryerson

This article was accepted to Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry in February of this year, and it details an atmospheric study done in May and June of 2010. Lenox Laser made a total of 3 parts for their studies of different LED detections systems of NO2. For some key background information if one is not familiar, I highly recommend reading this article first:
Flourescence detection of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide using a blue light-emitting diode as an excitation source by Yutaka Matsumi et al. It is much more readable and understandable.

Basically, detection of NO2 in the atmosphere relates to the ozone levels in the atmosphere. Thus, scientists of the field are interested in better, more accurate, and cheaper ways to measure NO2. One of the most recent trends to do so is to use commercially available UV-LEDs in their systems. The systems already often use a UV light source of some kind because in the chemistry of NO2 and related molecules, they will emit light in the process. Atmospheric scientists use this property, called chemiluminescence, to measure the NO2 molecules. Chemiluminescence detection is called P-CL.

In this article, the authors tested 3 UV-LEDs against each other in the P-CL system as shown in the diagram below:

Fig 1 from the paper- schematic of instrumental configuration
Fig 1 from the paper- schematic of instrumental configuration

I recommend reading the article itself to fully understand the diagram and the process. However, this is where Lenox Laser and our calibrated orifices come in. The red section where it says 700um orifice is where our first orifice was used. This is the bypass inlet, and was used to set the sample flow rate and cell pressure for the entire system. They found that the Nichia LEDs were the best overall.

So for the second part of the test, they took the Nichia LEDs on board the NOAA WP-3D aircraft with the P-CL for “on the job” training in the CalNex study. They replaced the more expensive and complicated mass flow controllers were replaced with our critical orifices and mass flow meters. In the diagram above the two places are indicated by arrows in the blue and black section. Replacing the parts in the system did improve the quality, and, as stated in the conclusion, they “eliminate mechanical components with complex flow paths that degrade time response. Replacing mass flow controllers with critical orifices and mass flow meters further simplifies the sample flow path in these laboratory test.”

The NOAA WP-3D aircraft is the plane that flies into hurricanes to monitor and gather information. It took part in CalNex – a study by several universities and institutions of air quality and climate change on the west coast. Our parts were used on board and tested with the UV-LED systems during the study. They even went with the plane as it was briefly diverted from the study to the Gulf of Mexico during the oil spill.

So in conclusion, this research paper incorporates optics, chemistry, and biology with flow technologies, atmospheric studies, and research planes all together, with Lenox Laser parts in the middle of it all!

As always, check out our main website www.lenoxlaser.com to see more of what we do, as well as the rest of this blog. If you have any questions or input, email me at archives@lenoxlaser.com

Laser-Drilling Applications Google Scholar Results

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laserDrill2

We are doing a lot this year in anticipation of our 2nd International Light Seminar in October as well as in commemoration of this our 30th anniversary. 

We decided that we wanted to get a better handle on where our parts have gone and how they are being used. I have already gone through Lenox Laser in space with NASA here. Now I want to take it back down to Earth.

In order see where our parts have been used and cited, I went to Google Scholar
and searched for “Lenox Laser.” Here is the link to the results: Google Scholar. What I found was fascinating.
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While not all of the results are accessible, those that are provide key insights into laser-drilling applications. The three broad categories are articles, patents, and theses and dissertations. In my research, I have broken them down accordingly and ordered them chronologically by publication year. The following graph illustrates the results:

CHART for blog

Here one can see a snapshot of Lenox Laser and how we are increasingly in demand. This also illustrates how laser-drilling and nano technologies have been growing.

I, and a few others, will be going through all of the articles we can and blog about them. We will give a summary of the article and the field that it relates to. However the key will be what part or parts we made and the applications.

We are working on improving our Newsroom on our company website. It will have a page where all the articles in which we are cited will be listed, as well as direct links. That will be up and running very soon.

So for now, please peruse through the Google Scholar results. You can even add keywords to specify your search, such as aperture or orifice. And, as always, please visit our website for more about Lenox Laser’s products and services.

Use of SiC in a High Power Spatial Filter for Stray Light Reduction

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Thomson scattering measurement of the electron temperature and density profiles in high temperature plasmas is a well established experimental technique. The existence of high levels of laser-line radiation (“stray laser light”) in the detected scattered light signal can lead to difficulty in system calibration.

Spatial filtering is a standard technique for improving the spatial profile of low-power laser beams. Focusing a beam through a pinhole aperture allows removal of spatial irregularities caused by nonlinear effects of amplification, dust or imperfect optics.

Silicon carbide is often used as an aperture material due to its high damage threshold.
Lenox Laser, Inc. of Glen Arm, Maryland, has laser drilled 210 micron apertures in SiC disks for such applications as stated above.  Experiments have shown that SiC apertures perform better than copper apertures.  It was found that the steady state stray light level for SiC was significantly less than for Cu.  Thus a silicon carbide aperture performed better than copper for irradiance at the spatial filter focus.

Lenox Laser and NASA- Pioneering in Space

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For 30 years, Lenox Laser has been involved in numerous NASA missions, providing quality parts and expertise. So in anticipation of our 30th anniversary, we have put together those missions which we have been involved in.

 

It is truly amazing that we have some of our parts out in distant space providing critical data about our universe.

 

Exoplanet conceptualization. Credit: NASA
Exoplanet conceptualization. Credit: NASA

 

Only a few years after its invention, the LASER was used in NASA’s pre-Moon landing missions in 1967. The founder of our company, Joseph d’Entremont, was involved in the laser testing and laser measuring of the distance of the Moon from Earth. He provided the backup system, which was successfully used after the primary contractor’s system failed. He recalls that the power of the return signal he received was somewhere between a giga or terawatt.



Hubble Space Telescope:
We have had several parts on Hubble over the years. Starting in 1981, Lenox Laser provided precision crosshair fiducials and slits for the Hubble Instruments. We then twice provided custom stainless steel discs with crosses- in 1989 and 1991.

Galileo Mission:
In 1985, Lenox Laser drilled precision holes in Hasteloy discs for the Galileo Mission to Jupiter. They were for the Helium Leak Detector on the spacecraft. Galileo spent 14 years in space-
7 to travel to Jupiter, and then 7 orbiting Jupiter and its moons.
Galileo was then intentionally crashed onto Jupiter at the end of its mission to prevent contamination.
Galileo spacecraft. Credit: NASA
Galileo spacecraft. Credit: NASA

Kepler Mission:
1999 brought us the unique and monumental task of making a custom Starfield Plate for the Kepler Mission. This then led to the design and production of another “starfield” in 2000 for NASA’s “Starfield” Project. The project is part of a system that can find orbiting bodies around distant astronomical bodies by detecting miniscule changes in light intensity.

Messenger Mission:
We then made High Power Ceramic Apertures for the Messenger Mission which were for spatial filtering. The Messenger, and our apertures, orbited Venus on the way to its goal Mercury, where it is currently gathering information about the planet. The parts were hand delivered to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

 

Light echo from a star. Credit: NASA Hubble
Light echo from a star. Credit: NASA Hubble

 

Mercury Laser Altimeter Project:
In 2003, Lenox Laser provided flight quality Alumina and Macor apertures for NASA’s Mercury Laser Altimeter Project and the Space Lidar Technology Center.

STEREO Mission:
Most recently, we provided custom parts and consulting services for NASA’s STEREO project which is providing revolutionary views of the Sun. The consulting was in support of testing the focus setting of one of the instruments during satellite integration at the Goddard Space Flight Center. As a result, Lenox Laser was awarded NASA’s Instrument and Technology Division 2006 Contractor Team Spirit Award.

To read more about our pioneering with NASA and their missions, click through the following links:

General information
Hubble Space Telescope
Galileo Mission
Kepler Mission
Messenger Mission
STEREO Mission


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