Modeling and simulation of laser material interaction for bulk sapphire


Sapphire, also known as single crystal aluminum oxide, alpha-alumina or simply alumina is a single crystal form of the mineral corundum. Its unique properties makes it a first choice for many high performance applications. When exposed to femto- or pico-second pulsed laser radiation, this chemically inert crystalline material is amorphousized and the irradiated material can subsequently be selectively etched. This technique allows the fabrication of structures in/below the surface of sapphire substrates, for example micro/nano-sized features (on sapphire surfaces), or embedded microfluidic networks (inside the bulk of sapphire substrates).


The more efficient and cost-effective method to predict the outcome of the laser-material interaction during the formation of subsurface modifications in crystalline sapphire is to simulate this behavior through a numerical model. Objective of this MSc. thesis is to develop a model for laser material interaction inside the bulk of a sapphire substrate. Primary goal of the model is the selection of suitable laser processing conditions for the modification of sapphire. For the purpose of validating the model, a secondary goal is to obtain a reasonable match between results of the modelling with the experimental outcomes.

Preliminary Tasks


Detailed literature study on laser-material interaction and sapphire micro processing


Study of modelling methods for laser-material interaction


Introduction to the µLab (WH-117) and experimental set-up


Analysis of modelling outcomes and critical comparison with experimental results


Writing MSc. thesis, and preparation of thesis defence


Periodical progress meetings with supervisors


Equivalent to 40 EC

Supervisors G.R.B.E. Römer (

MSc. Luigi Capuano (