May 11, 2017

Two-Photon Polymerization Experiments at DELTA Microfabrication Station

A group of scientists from Yerevan State University and CANDLE SRI has achieved a significant progress in two-photon polymerization experiments carried out at DELTA microfabrication laboratory within a (thematic) project funded by the State Committee of Science. The aim of this project is to study the effects of ultrashort laser pulses on certain types of polymers and liquid crystals, and to develop a laser technology for the fabrication of polymer-based microstructures.

Recent experimental results of the group, led by Dr. Hakob  Margaryan (Yerevan State University), demonstrate that two-photon polymerization (2PP), in a specific type of material (Ormocomp®), can be initiated by ultrashort pulses of the green (515 nm wavelength) laser operated on DELTA uFab workstation. Taking the advantage of unique positioning accuracy of the uFab station, delicate microstructures can now be fabricated in 3D, by scanning the polymerizing laser through a predefined trajectory in the bulk of the material. These capabilities were demonstrated by the fabrication of micro-“needles” on plastic pads (see illustrations), spirals on glass, helix, etc.

OrmoComp® is a UV-curable hybrid polymer, which is widely used for volume production of micro- and nano-optical components, as well as for medical applications, due to its biocompatibility. The capability of 2PP with a green femtosecond laser extends the potential range of applications of this material by enabling the precision fabrication of 3D structures with complex geometry.

The further activities of the team will be directed towards refinement of the laser fabrication technique and creation of prototype structures with more sophisticated geometry for a range of advanced applications.