Laser micro-sculpting of holographic security markings on high-value metal components

This project will investigate a novel laser marking process based on the laser-micro-sculpting approach, known as ‘YAGboss’.  This process was developed by Renishaw plc and Heriot-Watt University initially for the generation of sinusoidal gratings (scales) on metals for high-accurate positioning encoders and recently for the generation of holographic structures directly embossed onto the surface of 304-grade stainless steel.  The current downsides of this process are: (a) a lack of established laser processing parameters for the generation of holographic structures on high-value metals , (b) very low speed , and (c) a low diffraction efficiency and wavelength-insensitivity of the laser-generated holographic structures.   In this proposal, we want to investigate the feasibility of using the ‘YAGboss’ process for the generation of optically-smooth holographic security markings directly on high-value metals, such as nickel-chromium Inconel® alloys and cobalt-chromium, which are used for manufacturing, e.g., aero-engine parts and medical implants.  To significantly improve the generation time of holographic structures we propose to combine a laser source with a galvo-scan system equipped with a short focal length telecentric lens.

Contact Details: 

For more information please contact Professor Duncan Hand,