Thunderline-Z, a supplier of feedthrus and hi-rel packages for the RF/microwave industry, has announced its new laser services for hermetic sealing of high frequency devices, components and subassembly packages. By employing the precise control of high power lasers, including advanced power ramping and pulse-shaping techniques, Thunderline-Z provides reliable hermetic seals for both standard and custom packages—even for package designs that incorporate posts or pedestals for stability.

These new laser welding services are made possible by a major investment in a pair of high power industrial-grade lasers from Miyachi Unitek. Thunderline-Z acquired two new Nd:YAG systems, models LW150A and LW500A. The LW150A, with 150 W average power and as much as 7 kW peak power, is being used for component attachment within packages, while the higher-power LW500A, with 500 W average power and 7.5 kW peak power, is the workhorse system for sealing lids to packages within a controlled glove box atmosphere.

Compared to conventional solder sealing or seam sealing approaches, laser welding forms a robust, consistent metal-to-metal seal around the perimeter of a package. A laser-welded package maintains hermeticity in the most demanding environments, including Class S (space-based) applications. Standard hermetic seals are performed in a nitrogen/helium environment.

The laser welders precisely control the optical power applied to a package and a lid to form a consistent, repeatable seal. They use a combination of continuously variable laser power and pulse shaping to achieve secure welds between lids and package housings while working around critical circuit paths. In addition, with the lower-power laser system, Thunderline-Z can perform reliable component placement of the most challenging hermetic-package components, including feedthrus and connectors.

To support the new laser-welding systems, Thunderline-Z installed a new electrostatic-discharge (ESD) anti-static floor in the work area around the two systems. Customers’ sealed packages are inspected with the aid of fine and gross leak-testing systems, with quality maintained according to the applicable requirements of MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD-202.

In addition to the laser-based component-placement and packaging sealing capabilities, Thunderline-Z offers packaging services from feedthrus, to components, to subassembly packages. The firm is an ITAR-registered, ISO9001-certified manufacturer, part of the Emerson group of companies.