Femtosecond laser machining for characterization of local mechanical properties of biomaterials: a case study on wood

Severin Jakob, Manuel J. Pfeifenberger, Anton Hohenwarter, Reinhard Pippan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


he standard preparation technique for micro-sized samples is focused ion beam milling, most frequently using Ga+ ions. The main drawbacks are the required processing time and the possibility and risks of ion implantation. In contrast, ultrashort pulsed laser ablation can process any type of material with ideally negligible damage to the surrounding volume and provides 4 to 6 orders of magnitude higher ablation rates than the ion beam technique. In this work, a femtosecond laser was used to prepare wood samples from spruce for mechanical testing at the micrometre level. After optimization of the different laser parameters, tensile and compressive specimens were produced from microtomed radial-tangential and longitudinal-tangential sections. Additionally, laser-processed samples were exposed to an electron beam prior to testing to study possible beam damage. The specimens originating from these different preparation conditions were mechanically tested. Advantages and limitations of the femtosecond laser preparation technique and the deformation and fracture behaviour of the samples are discussed. The results prove that femtosecond laser processing is a fast and precise preparation technique, which enables the fabrication of pristine biological samples with dimensions at the microscale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-583
Number of pages10
JournalScience and Technology of Advanced Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2017


  • beam damage
  • cell wall rupture
  • cellular material
  • femtosecond laser
  • fibre debonding
  • micromechanics
  • sample preparation
  • spruce
  • Ultrashort pulse laser
  • wood

Cite this