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1. (WO2013163433) LASER JOINING DEVICE
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What is claimed is:

1. A method of joining a first substrate and a second substrate, comprising;

disposing a pattern on the surface of a first substrate, wherein such pattern may be formed by (i) exposing the substrate to a laser beam with a first wavelength, or (ii) printing a pattern using a pigment composition, or (iii) scribing a line using a marker implement; contacting the patterned substrate with a second substrate;

exposing the patterned substrate in contact with the second substrate with a laser beam having a second wavelength, different to the first wavelength, wherein the presence of the pattern on the first substrate absorbs the second wavelength laser energy thereby heating and melting the first substrate.

2. A method of joining a first substrate to a second substrate, comprising;

exposing a portion of the first substrate to a first laser to modify the surface of the substrate;

contacting the first substrate with the second substrate;

applying a force between the first and second substrates;

exposing the first and second substrate to a second laser to heat the surface of the first substrate previously exposed to the first laser to heat and melt the at least first substrate and optionally the second substrate; such that the first and second substrate comingle in the proximity of the region contacted by the second laser, thereby joining the substrates.

3. A method of joining a first substrate and a second substrate, comprising;

irradiating a portion of the first substrate with a laser having a first wavelength; contacting the irradiated portion of the first substrate with the second substrate; and irradiating the previously irradiated portion of the first substrate in contact with the second substrate with a laser having a second wavelength, different to the first laser.

The method of claim 2 wherein the first substrate comprises a feature.

4. The method of claims 2 or 3 wherein the portion of first substrate exposed to a first laser is in the proximity of the perimeter of the feature.

5. The method of claims 2-4 wherein the surface of the first substrate exposed to the first laser is modified by the first laser, making it susceptible to a second laser.

6. The method of claims 2-5 wherein the first laser causes carbonisation of the surface of the first substrate.

7. The method of claims 2-6 wherein the first laser has a wavelength of between about 238nm and about 532nm.

8. The method of claims 2-7 wherein the first laser is an ultraviolet laser.

9. The method of claims 2-7 wherein the first laser is a green laser.

10. The method of claims 2-9 wherein the second laser has a wavelength of between about 700nm and 1540nm.

11. The method of claim 2-10 wherein the second laser is an infra red laser.

12. The method of claims 2-11 wherein the second substrate is joined to the first substrate in proximity of the modified surface.

13. The method of claims 2-12 wherein the infra red laser causes melting of the first substrate, and optionally the second substrate, in proximity of the region exposed to the first laser.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the first substrate comingles with the second substrate in the region of the first substrate previously exposed to the first laser.

15. The method of any preceding claim wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser defines a line around the feature to be joined.

16. The method of any preceding claim wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser defines at least two lines around the feature to be joined.

17. The method of claims 15 or 16 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser is at a distance of at least about 0.05um, at least about 0.075um, at least about O. lum, at least about 0.2um, at least about 0.5um, at least about lum, at least about 2.5um, at least about 5um, at least about lOum from the feature to be joined.

18. The method of claims 15 or 16 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by first laser is at a distance of at least about lOOum, at least about 75um, at least about 50um, at least about 25um, at least about lOum, at least about 5um, at least about 2.5um, at least about lum, at least about 0.5um from the feature to be joined.

19. The method of any preceding claims where the first laser provides a continuous line on the surface of the first substrate.

20. The method of any preceding claim where the first laser provides a series of discrete

patterns having a diameter of at least about O.lum to at least about lOum and a spacing of at least about O.lum to at least about lOum.

21. The method of any preceding claim wherein the first laser defines a circular pattern, a

square pattern, a hexagonal pattern, a triangular pattern, an oval pattern on the surface of the first substrate .

22. A method, comprising:

increasing an absorbance of a portion of a surface of the first substrate to light having a first wavelength;

contacting the portion of the surface of the first substrate with a portion of a surface of the second substrate; and

irradiating the contacted portions of the first and second substrates with light having the first wavelength and an intensity sufficient to join the first and second substrates at the irradiated portions of the surfaces thereof.

23. A method of joining a first substrate and a second substrate, comprising;

(a) disposing a first pattern on the surface of the first substrate, wherein such pattern may be formed by either

(i) injection moulding, or

(ii) hot embossing, or

(iii) milling, or

(iv) extruding, or

(v) dispensing;

(b) disposing a second pattern on the surface of the first substrate, wherein such pattern may be formed by either

(i) exposing the substrate to a laser with a first wavelength, or

(ii) printing a pattern using a pigment composition, or

(iii) scribing a line using a marker implement;

(c) contacting the patterned substrate with a second substrate;

(d) exposing the patterned first substrate in contact with the second substrate to ultrasonic energy in proximity of the first pattern, wherein the presence of the first pattern on the substrate absorbs ultrasonic energy, generating localised melting of the substrate, thereby joining the first and second substrate in the proximity of the first pattern;

(e) exposing the patterned substrate in contact with the second substrate to a laser beam having a second wavelength, different to the first wavelength, wherein the presence of the second pattern on the first substrate absorbs the second wavelength laser energy thereby heating and melting the first substrate in proximity of the first pattern.

24. A method of joining a first substrate to a second substrates, comprising;

(a) providing a structure on a first portion of a surface of the first substrate, which structure acts as an energy director;

(b) irradiating a second portion of the same surface of the first substrate with a laser having a first wavelength;

(c) contacting the patterned surface of the first substrate with a second substrate;

(d) applying ultrasonic radiation to a surface of the second substrate in proximity of the energy director on the first substrate;

(e) irradiating the previously irradiated portion of the first substrate that is in contact with the second substrate with a laser having a second wavelength, different to the first wavelength.

25. The method of claim 25 wherein the first substrate comprises a feature.

26. The method of claim 25 wherein the energy director is in the proximity of a first portion of the perimeter of the feature.

27. The method of claim 25-27 wherein application of ultrasonic energy to the second substrate in proximity of the energy director on the first substrate is used to join the first substrate to the second substrate.

28. The method of claim 25 wherein the portion of first substrate exposed to the first laser is in the proximity of a second portion of a perimeter of the feature.

29. The method of claims 25-29 wherein the surface of the first substrate exposed to the first laser is modified by the first laser, making it susceptible to a second laser.

30. The method of claims 25-30 wherein the first laser causes carbonisation of the surface of the first substrate.

31. The method of claims 25-31 wherein the first laser has a wavelength of between about 238nm and about 532nm.

32. The method of claims 25-32 wherein the first laser is an ultraviolet laser.

33. The method of claims 25-32 wherein the first laser is a green laser.

34. The method of claims 25-34 wherein the second laser has a wavelength of between about 700nm and 1540nm.

35. The method of claim 25-35 wherein the second laser is an infra red laser.

36. The method of claims 25-36 wherein the second substrate is joined to the first substrate in proximity of the modified surface.

37. The method of claims 25-37 wherein the infra red laser causes melting of the first substrate, and optionally the second substrate, in proximity of the region exposed to first laser.

38. The method of claim 38 wherein the first substrate comingles with the second substrate in the region of the first substrate previously exposed to the first laser.

39. The method of claim 25-39 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser defines a line around the feature to be joined.

40. The method of claims 25-40 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser defines at least two lines around the feature to be joined.

41. The method of claims 25 or 40 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by the first laser is at a distance of at least about 0.05um, at least about 0.075um, at least about 0.1 um, at least about 0.2um, at least about 0.5um, at least about lum, at least about 2.5um, at least about 5um, at least about lOum from the feature to be joined.

42. The method of claims 25 or 40 wherein the portion of first substrate contacted by first laser is at a distance of at least about lOOum, at least about 75um, at least about 50um, at least about 25um, at least about lOum, at least about 5um, at least about 2.5um, at least about lum, at least about 0.5um from the feature to be joined.

43. The method of claims 25-43 where the first laser provides a continuous line on the surface of the first substrate.

44. The method of claims 25-44 where the first laser provides a series of discrete patterns having a diameter of at least about 0.1 um to at least about lOum and a spacing of at least about O. lum to at least about lOum.

45. The method of claims 25-45 wherein the first laser defines a circular pattern, a square pattern, a hexagonal pattern, a triangular pattern, an oval pattern on the surface of the first substrate.

46. The method of any preceding claim wherein the first substrate and second substrate are joined by laser welding in the absence of an externally applied force.

47. The method of claim 4 or 26 wherein the feature comprises a groove, a channel, a hole, a well, a vent, a passage.