Two-Color Single-Photon Photoinitiation and Photoinhibition for Subdiffraction Photolithography

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Science  15 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5929, pp. 913-917
DOI: 10.1126/science.1167610

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Controlling and reducing the developed region initiated by photoexposure is one of the fundamental goals of optical lithography. Here, we demonstrate a two-color irradiation scheme whereby initiating species are generated by single-photon absorption at one wavelength while inhibiting species are generated by single-photon absorption at a second, independent wavelength. Co-irradiation at the second wavelength thus reduces the polymerization rate, delaying gelation of the material and facilitating enhanced spatial control over the polymerization. Appropriate overlapping of the two beams produces structures with both feature sizes and monomer conversions otherwise unobtainable with use of single- or two-photon absorption photopolymerization. Additionally, the generated inhibiting species rapidly recombine when irradiation with the second wavelength ceases, allowing for fast sequential exposures not limited by memory effects in the material and thus enabling fabrication of complex two- or three-dimensional structures.

  • * Present address: Center for Bioengineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309–0427, USA.

  • Present address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA 30030, USA.

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