Nanoscribe’s 3D printer has recently offered a state-of-the-art solution to product developers providing access to the highest-resolution additive manufacturing technology available today with layer thicknesses and feature sizes below 1 µm. In the prototype phase within the product development process, it is often not clear a priori what the practical configuration of the micro-optical system will look like to enable optimum performance of the final product. The Photonic Professional GT system, based on 3D laser lithography enables design freedom and quick design iteration cycles at a scale relevant for many applications in micro system technologies, that was previously unreachable.
Nanoscribe systems is based upon two-photon polymerization of photosensitive materials as the starting material. Here, the mostly liquid resist is locally solidified by a photochemically triggered polymerization. The systems use laser light in the near infrared, to which the photoresist is transparent. The laser is femtosecond pulsed, leading to extraordinary high peak powers in the laser focus. The resolution of this true 3D rapid prototyping process goes down to less than 500 nm and delivers complex, self-supporting microstructures. This method also allows an extremely high degree of flexibility, because the computer-controlled beam guidance can transfer 3D CAD models directly into 3D structures of almost any complexity.