Laser direct-write (LDW) is an established technology for manufacturing electronic and optoelectronic appliances such as cellular telephones, digital cameras, and notebook-type personal computers. One of the most successful applications is laser drilling of via holes on printed circuit boards for the manufacture of cellular telephones. Other practical applications include marking, dicing, trimming, repairing, patterning, bending, and rapid prototyping. In this article, the state of the art of LDW for industrial applications in Japan, the United States, and Europe is reviewed, and its future prospects are discussed.
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