Nanoscribe’s 3D microprinting for photonic and MEMS

3D microstructure printed on MEMS actuators (Image courtesy of Rachael Jayne and Alice White, Boston University)

Growing demands on high-speed data communication, unmanned aerial vehicles and portable medical devices are attracting industries to new manufacturing methods like, for example, Nanoscribe’s direct laser writing technology. Currently, the production of photonic circuits and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) needed for these applications requires different manufacturing methods and multiple process steps for bringing together various components on one microchip.

Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT system uses the method of two-photon polymerization. The precision optics and advanced software tools of this 3D printer allow to fabricate 3D polymer structures with submicron precision, making the strengths of additive manufacturing available to micro and nanofabrication.

The two-photon polymerization process is the basis for Nanoscribe’s 3D microprinting technology. In this printing process, a laser exposes a photosensitive resin by means of a high-numerical aperture objective in a controlled trajectory and layer-by-layer following a CAD design. The material solidifies only in the laser focus spot allowing for nearly arbitrary 3D structures with even submicron features. The new update of this technique expands the scope of use for printing on pre-manufactured circuits and opens new avenues for on-chip printing.