From the micro- to the meso-scale: These lattice cubes were all printed using the Photonic Professional GT to demonstrate the versatility of the micro production process for different scales.
The micro production process enables high-resolution structuring of arbitrary 3D patterns in photosensitive materials. Along the list of compatible materials that were tested by Nanoscribe are SU-8, Ormocomp®, and Nanoscribe's proprietary IP resists. Its resolution, i.e., the voxel size, is mainly determined by the laser spot size in the material, the power of the laser source and the properties of the photosensitive material itself. By using focusing optics with a high numerical aperture, very small voxels with sub-micrometer dimensions can be achieved. To move the voxel relative to the sample, two technical implementations can be distinguished. In the fixed-beam moving-sample (FBMS) approach the substrate is moved in all three dimensions by a high-precision positioning unit relative to the focussing optics. This movement is often driven by piezo actuators that allow for a very precise focus trajectory. In the second implementation, the laser beam is laterally scanned by galvanometric mirrors and the vertical movement is controlled by piezo-actuators. This moving-beam fixed-sample (MBFS) approach allows for much faster fabrication speeds by employing a layer-by-layer build process. This process is called additive manufacturing.