Applied Physics

Sculpting with Single Photons

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1303
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1303a

Photosensitive resins that polymerize (solidify) under exposure to light are useful materials for lithographic patterning processes. Recently, the use of two-photon absorption processes has allowed three-dimensional (3D) structures to be fabricated within the resin. However, the low efficiency of two-photon absorption processes requires the use of expensive, short-pulse lasers.

Maruo and Ikuta show that the nonlinear optical response of a photosensitive resin to a weakly absorbed continuous light source localizes polymerization by single-photon absorption and makes it feasible to form movable 3D structures with submicrometer resolution. The high viscosity of the resin removes the need for scaffolding or sacrificial layers to hold the movable parts in place. Only regions of the resin exposed to intensities greater than the threshold intensity are polymerized, and this technique offers a simple route to fabrication of intricate 3D structures.—ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett.76, 2656 (2000).

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