Electrochimica Acta, Vol.49, No.22-23, 3997-4003, 2004
Spark assisted chemical engraving in the light of electrochemistry
A novel technology for glass microstructuration called spark assisted chemical engraving (SACE) is presented. This technology is based on electrochemical discharge phenomena. Beyond a critical voltage, electrical discharges occur through the gas film around the electrode and the glass machining is possible. The SACE process is similar to the electrode effects. SACE has been analysed using an electrochemical approach (U-I plots), the experimental results clarify the onset of the discharge activity. Additionally, two theoretical models of the SACE phenomenon were introduced. Firstly a model, based on percolation theory, is briefly described and predicts the critical parameters (voltage and current). Secondly a method to estimate the spark's characteristics (amplitude and duration) is presented and with the help of these data the machining depth was estimated by a numerical simulation. Finally, some glass microstructuring examples are presented to show the potential of this technology. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.