Available Technology

Parallel Two-photon Polymerization for Scalable Submicron Additive Manufacturing

Two-photon lithography (TPL) is a direct write technique that enables fabrication of macroscale complex 3D structures with submicron features. In this process, writing of complex structures is achieved through a serial writing technique wherein a high light intensity spot is sequentially scanned in 3D space to generate the entire structure. Due to the serial writing scheme, the rate of writing is fundamentally limited to such an extent that two-photon lithography of large volumes of functional parts is not feasible. Although attempts to increase the rate via parallelization have been made in the past, such attempts have failed to achieve the same degree of pattern complexity as that available in the point-scanning serial technique. Specifically, past parallelization efforts have either generated arrays of identical features or printed 2D parts with no depth resolvability.
Patent Abstract: 
LLNL has solved the challenges of depth-resolved parallel TPL by using a temporal focusing technique in addition to the spatial focusing technique used in serial writing systems. We temporally focus the beam (through optical set-up design) so that a sharp Z-plane can be resolved while projecting 2D “light sheets” that cause localized photo-polymerization.
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