News and Reviews (July 2013)

Fabrication of Macro-Objects


Photonic Professional GT and DiLL – a Fast and Precise Combination

The concept of Dip-in Laser Lithography (DiLL) together with our Photonic Professional systems allows an easy workflow for  three-dimensional nano- and microfabrication. It is the ideal tool for the fabrication of tall structures in the millimeter-range providing a constant feature size along the entire fabrication height.
The DiLL process hereby uses a liquid photoresist both as an immersion medium and the photosensitive material to be structured at the same time. This allows to circumvent the general limitation of the structure height to the working distance of the high-NA objective typically in the range of 170 µm.
The benefits of DiLL can also be used in combination with the new Photonic Professional GT systems to provide a  fast and easy 3D printing process for the rapid prototyping of large structures within reasonable time. The miniature Eiffel Tower (fig. 2) serves as a perfect demonstration of the superior resolution provided by the DiLL assisted 3D printing process. A total height of one millimeter allows to see this structure with the bare eye, as the photograph taken with a consumer DSLR and a macro objective documents (fig. 1).

Nozzle-graphics_rgb.jpg

fig. 1 Prototype of a miniature nozzle with a diameter of one millimeter fabricated for the precise formation of liquid micro-droplets.

Only the SEM image of the very same structure (fig. 2 (b)) reveals  the fine details and proves the high resolution of the process. The Photonic Professional GT systems provide the speed-up of the printing process to finish such structures in about two hours total printing time.
While there is obviously little use of this miniature model besides demonstration purposes, the benefits of the DiLL and GT combination provide the basis for a large range of applications where sub-millimeter miniature parts and elements with a sub-micronresolution are needed.
A prototype of a miniature nozzle for the precise formation of liquid microdroplets was as well fabricated using the DiLL and GT combination.

eifeltower_collage_newsletter.jpg

fig. 2 Did you know that there are more than 30 Eiffel Tower replicas around the world with  different heights?
Well, this one is definitely unique: Our miniature Eiffel Tower with a total height of 1 mm was 3D printed using the Photonic Professional GT combined with DiLL technology.