Femtosecond lasers are extremely versatile tools allowing a great variety of different microfabrication processes. Each process has its own requirements for laser, beam delivery or material parameters. Our Laser Nanofactory workstation allows hybrid fabrication, meaning that various processes are supported by the same equipment. The two of our most frequently used processes are multiphoton polymerization and selective glass etching, however that is far from all! By precisely tuning its parameters the same machine is capable to perform more processes including:
- Refractive index modification of transparent materials
- Surface structuring
In addition, Laser Nanofactory is a modular system, allowing further adaptation to your application. It supports various sample holders (e.g. for microscope slides, wafers, fibers) and different fabrication heads, optimized for your desired laser applications.
- Additive and subtractive techniques combined in one Laser Nanofactory system
- Arbitrary-shaped 3D structures from micrometers to centimeters scale
- Fast switch from additive to subtractive microfabrication
- Customizable configuration – integrate additional devices
By using a hybrid microfabrication approach, complex lab-on-chip devices can be produced. One example is the liver-on-chip as an in vitro liver model. The channel system is made by using the selective laser etching technique (SLE). Polymeric filters are integrated inside the prepared microfluidic system by using multi-photon polymerization (MPP). The channels in the glass along with polymeric micropillars form a microfluidic device where different types of inserted cells can form a complex cellular architecture and manipulate cell‑to-cell interactions. These devices can be applied in biomedical research since the possibility of combining both SLE and MPP offers convenient prototyping of fully functioning devices using only one tool.
The hybrid-fabrication approach enables rapid production of channels out of fused silica via laser ablation, while multiphoton polymerization is used to integrate fine-mesh 3D filters of arbitrary geometry inside the channel. To prove the effectiveness of this approach, a microfluidic macromolecule separator prototype is produced intended for new generation drug development and production. It is designed to separate low and high‑molecular-weight substances in mixture solutions. The polymer and glass components needed for these devices are selected and incorporated freely during the manufacturing process, bringing a new level of functionality to the device, and simplifying the fabrication workflow. Due to the versatility of multiphoton polymerization, various complex geometry filters can be implemented at very high resolutions. For example, the pores of this filter are 500 nm wide.
Femtosecond direct laser writing processes enable hybrid microfabrication of additive and subtractive technologies to create integrated systems. By selective laser etching (SLE), glass microstructures can be made and polymeric structures can be integrated into the glass microstructures using multiphoton polymerization (MPP).
This incorporation of techniques demonstrates the capability of combining mechanical deformable devices made of silica with an integrated polymer structure for passive chemical sensing application. As glass is an amorphous material, its material properties are identical in all directions. Also, thin glass structures are flexible, and the deformations are elastic. These glass properties can be applied for investigating the mechanical properties of polymeric structures through a coupled microchemical sensor system.
Hybrid Fabrication.pdf - PDF 0.6 Meg