In-Volume Structuring

Our Service

To fabricate structures for a variety of applications, ultra-short pulsed laser radiation can process transparent materials in almost any manner. For example, it can generate markings thanks to the targeted removal of glass surfaces. Even highly precise structures with accuracies of less than one micrometer can be selectively introduced into the volume of transparent materials. This is commonly used to mark bulk glass for integrated optics. Further fields of application are the high-precision and fast cutting of glass. Selective laser-induced etching (SLE) makes it possible to produce any kind of 3D structure and complex component made of glass or other materials. For example, holes and cavities in sapphire can be processed at a precision of approximately five micrometers, which is not achievable with conventional methods.

The range of services includes feasibility studies on customer-specific tasks, integration of laser functionalization into the manufacturing process as well as consulting in the design of processes and plants.

Arrangement of micro-holes in thin glass.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Arrangement of micro-holes in thin glass.

Chessmen made of fused silica (socket with diameter of 7 mm).
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Chessmen made of fused silica (socket with diameter of 7 mm).

Micro-holes in thin glass.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Micro-holes in thin glass.

Surface Structuring and Drilling

  • Selective ablation of surfaces
  • Surface channels for cell and microfluidics
  • Micro holes for electronic interposer applications

In-Volume Structuring

  • Waveguide for optical communication
  • Integrated structures
  • Marking

Cutting of Transparent Materials

  • Processing of glass and sapphire

Selective Laser Etching SLE

  • Structures for 3D microfluidic systems
  • Printing processes for 3D components


Our brochures offer a quick view onto the service portfolio “In-Volume Structuring“. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.


“Processing Glass with Laser Radiation“


“Machining Transparent Materials with Ultrashort Pulsed Laser Radiation“


“Selective Laser Etching of Glass and Sapphire“


Pütsch, O., Temmler, A., Stollenwerk, J., Willenborg, E., Loosen, P.:
Active optical system for advanced 3D surface structuring by laser remelting
Proceedings of SPIE 9356 (10 S.) (2015)

Jauer, L., Leonards, H.:
3D-Druck und Biofabrikation
RWTH-Themen (1), 42-45 (2014)

Gottmann, J., Hermans, M., Ortmann, J.:
Microcutting and hollow 3D microstructures in glasses by In-volume Selective Laser-induced Etiching (ISLE)

J. Laser Micro/Nanoneng. 8 (1), 15-18 (2013)

Schaefer, D., Gottmann, J., Hermans, M., Ortmann, J., Kelbassa, I.:
High speed micro scanner for 3D in-volume laser micro-processing
Laser-based Micro- and Nanopackaging and Assembly VII.
Proc. SPIE 8608, 6 S.

Schaefer, D., Schnitzler, D., Kelbassa, I.:
Fundamental processes of refractive index modifications during femtosecond laser waveguide writing
Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics VI, Proc. SPIE 8613, X1-7

Beckmann, D., Esser, D., Gottmann, J.:
Characterization of channel waveguides in Pr:YLiF4 crystals fabricated by direct femtosecond laser writing.
Appl. Phys. B – Lasers Optics, Online first, 6 S., DOI: 10.1007/s00340-011-4406-6, 2011

Beckmann, D., Schnitzler, D., Schaefer, D., Gottmann, J., Kelbassa, I.
Beam shaping of laser diode radiation by waveguides with arbitrary cladding geometry written with fs-laser radiation.
Opt. Expr. 19, Nr 25, 25418-25425, 2011

Esser, D., Rezaei, S.,Li, J., Herman, P. R., Gottmann, J.:
Time dynamics of burst-train filamentation assisted femtosecond laser machining in glasses.
Opt. Expr. 19, Nr. 25, 25632-25642, 2011

Hoerstmann-Jungemann, M., Dobrzanski, D., Schaefer, D., Kelbassa, I.:
Functionalization of sapphire surfaces using fs-laser radiation and selective etching.
ICALEO. 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. M 1203, 1105-1110, 2011

Schaefer, D., Beckmann, D., Hoerstmann-Jungemann, M., Kelbassa, I.
Waveguides and markings inside transparent materials by fs-laser radiation.
ICALEO 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. M1004,5 S., 2011

Schaeffer, R. D., Schaefer, D.:
New method for structuring brittle materials.
Micromanufacturing 4, Nr. 4, 14-15, 2011

Gottmann, J.
Selektives Laserätzen von Glas und Saphir
Mikroproduktion 2010, Nr 6, 10-13

Hörstmann-Jungemann, M., Gottmann, J., Keggenhoff, M.
3D-Microstructuring of sapphire using fs-laser irradiation and selective etching
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 5, 145-149

J. Gottmann, D. Wortmann, M. Hörstmann-Jungemann
Fabrication of sub-wavelength surface ripples and in-volume nanostructures by fs-laser induced selective etching
Appl. Surf. Sci.
255, 5641-5646, 2009

J. Gottmann, M. Hörstmann-Jungemann, M. Hermans, D. Beckmann
High speed and high precision Fs-laser writing using a scanner with large numerical aperture
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng.
4, Nr 3, 192-196, 2009

D. Esser, D. Wortmann, J. Gottmann
In-volume waveguides by fs-laser direct writing in rare-earth-doped fluoride glass and phosphate glass
Proc. SPIE
7205, 7205101-7205109, 2009

M. Waldmann, R. Caspary, D. Wortmann, J. Gottmann, W. Kowalsky
Erbium-doped fluoride glass waveguides
Electron. Lett.
44, Nr 20, 1193-1194, 2008

D. Wortmann, J. Gottmann
Fs-Laser structuring of ridge waveguides
Appl. Phys. A
93, 197-201, 2008

R. Poprawe, A. Gillner, D. Hoffmann, J. Gottmann, W. Wawers, W. Schulz
High speed high precision ablation from ms to fs
Proc. SPIE
7005, 12 S., 2008

J. Gottmann, D. Wortmann, N. Brandt
Highspeed manufacturing of periodical surface and in-volume nanostructures by fs-laser direct writing
Proc. SPIE
6879, 12 S. 2008

M. Hörstmann-Jungemann, J. Gottmann ,D. Wortmann,
Time resolved measurement of the dielectric function during direct fs-laser writing of SiO2 and sapphire
Proc. LPM2008 - 9th Int. Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication
5 S., 2008

D. Wortmann, J. Gottmann, N. Brandt, H. Horn-Solle
Micro- and nanostructures inside sapphire by fs-laser irradiation and selective etching
Opt. Expr.
16, Nr 3, 1517-1522, 2008

J. Gottmann, L. Moiseev, D. Wortmann, I. Vasilief, L. Starovoytova, D. Ganser, R. Wagner
Laser deposition and laser structuring of laser active planar waveguides of Er:ZBLAN, Nd:YAG and Nd:GGG for integrated waveguide lasers
Proc. SPIE
6459, 10 S., 2007

J. Gottmann, D. Wortmann, I. Vasilief, L. Moiseev, D. Ganser
Manufacturing of Nd:Gd3Ga5O12 ridge waveguide lasers by pulsed laser deposition and ultrafast laser micromachining
Appl. Surf. Sci.
254, 1105-1110, 2007

D. Wortmann, M. Ramme, J. Gottmann
Refractive index modification using fs-laser double pulses
Opt. Expr.
15, 10149-10153, 2007

R. Wagner, J. Gottmann
Sub-wavelength ripple formation on various materials induced by tightly focused femtosecond laser radiation
8th International Conference on Laser Ablation
J. Phys.: Conference Series
59, 333-337, 2007

D. Wortmann, L. Moiseev, I. Vasilief, D. Ganser,L. Starovoytova, J. Gottmann
Waveguide lasers of Er:ZBLAN and Nd:GGG by pulsed laser deposition and fs-laser microstructuring
Proc. 4th Int. WLT-Conf. on Lasers in Manufacturing 2007, Munich, June
821-826, 2007

R. Wagner, J. Gottmann, A. Horn, E. W. Kreutz
Subwavelength ripple formation induced by tightly focused femtosecond laser radiation
Applied Surface Science 252
8576-8579, 2006