We describe a new technique for rapid etching of ceramics, glasses, and single-crystal 〈111〉 silicon.1 in our experiments, a focused argon laser was directed horizontally onto a sample and submerged. vertically in a quartz cell containing a concentrated KOH solution. Etching occurs at the point of incidence of the laser on the sample accompanied by local boiling of the solution as well as local melting of the substrate. We have verified that rapid etching occurs only when melting occurs by measuring the volume removal rate as a function of laser power for a fixed laser pulse width when the sample was in KOH.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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