Laser precision meets miniaturization: The future of TO packages for NDIR gas analysis

Technology, Material & Application

Using innovative laser technology and many years of know-how in laser application, the smallest packages and housings for gas sensors can be processed with high precision and in perfect quality.

In the world of sensors, electronics and optics, miniaturization is an unstoppable trend. Components are becoming smaller and more powerful, and innovative technologies are being used to meet these demands. One such breakthrough technology is laser technology. By using it, components can be reduced to a minimum while keeping their functions intact. This allows engineers and designers to create compact devices without sacrificing performance or functionality. In addition, in most cases, the application of laser technology is faster, more precise and more flexible than conventional machining processes. Among other things, miniaturized TO packages can be cut and machined with the laser.

What are TO packages and where are they used?

Also known as transistor outline packages, they are components used in the electronics industry to protect and mechanically stabilize semiconductor devices such as transistors or laser diodes. They are usually made of metal or ceramics and have a specific shape that corresponds to the respective semiconductor components.

The potential applications of laser-cut miniaturized TO packages are virtually unlimited. One particularly promising application is their use in gas sensors. These are used to measure and monitor gas concentrations. Particularly in industry, medical technology and environmental and laboratory technology, where various gases are produced or worked with, gas sensors play a crucial role and are indispensable there. For example, gases have to be detected qualitatively and quantitatively at numerous process points in the production of chemicals, medicines, dyes, paper, textiles or even foodstuffs.

Infrared optical gas sensors based on NDIR technology are typically used here. The abbreviation NDIR stands for Non-Dispersive InfraRed and can be used to reliably measure and detect more than 100 different gases. In order for the gas sensors to deliver reliable and highly accurate results, the individual components must of course meet high-quality requirements for use in "harsh environments". In addition, the components must offer high stability and a long service life.

Precision through laser

The production of miniaturized TO packages requires extreme precision to achieve the desired results. This is where lasers come into play. Laser-cut TO packages offer excellent control over cut quality, enabling tiny, clean and precise cuts. The laser beam makes it possible to create complex patterns and the finest structures in the smallest of spaces, resulting in excellent fit and functionality of the TO packages.

LCP Laser-Cut-Processing GmbH takes it here with high precision, quality and individuality. Among other things, we manufacture the smallest TO housings or packages made of Ni, NiFe or Kovar® with window(s) for gas sensors. Various processing technologies are used in the process.

Using advanced laser technology to ensure clean cut edges with no burrs or warping, camera-assisted positioning is first used to cut the window or windows into the TO housing quickly, precisely and efficiently. How many? That depends on the respective application and the customer's individual design, and the result is application-specific individualized transistor packages.

Subsequently, these are further processed by the mechanical processing of vibratory grinding in order to remove any minute existing burr residues or impurities. The processing is particularly gentle on the component, as only suitable grinding and polishing granules are used. In addition to deburring, the workpiece can also be ground, edges rounded, cleaned and polished to a high gloss.

Finally, at the customer's request, component identification and marking by laser marking is also possible. This is a safe, fast and sustainable method of marking the components without contact and without damaging the material. Depending on the material and the project, we use different marking methods. Whether laser marking, deep engraving or annealing marking - with the laser we mark components for eternity. This is indispensable and essential, especially for components that must be traceable. In addition to simple lettering and serial numbers, large-area coding as well as data matrix or QR codes and sterile component markings are also possible.

And the best thing for customers?

Full service from start to finish: Because we stand by at your side as a reliable manufacturing service provider and agile development partner from the initial technical consultation, intensive process support through prototype production to series production along the entire process chain. Additional services such as measurements and component cleaning as well as access to an extensive network of cooperation partners for alternative machining processes or surface finishing round off the whole package. Last but not least, with our many years of process know-how in the gentle fine laser processing of sensitive materials with the most filigree structures, we stand for high-class, precise processing and excellent component quality.

laser machined TO packages

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