First industry-suitable machine for 3D nanostructures

Fig. 1: Easter bunny made of Ormocer

Nanotechnology is increasingly gaining in importance as well as becoming marketable, and already now, it offers great potential for innovations. However, there is often a lack of suitable machines for this technology, particularly industry-suitable machines, to produce three-dimensional structures with resolutions below one micrometer.

At the Hannover Fair 2006, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e. V. (LZH) shows the first commercially available and industry-suitable machine for three-dimensional structuring, reaching a resolution of 100 nm. The necessary technology of two-photon polymerization (2PP) is based on the hardening of photosensitive polymers by laser radiation.

The spectrum of applications of the 2PP system is wide, especially in medical technology (for the manufacturing of implants and the improvement of their biocompatibility), in micro-optics (for the manufacturing of improved and novel optical components), in micromechanics, or in microfluidics. In addition, this process can be scaled almost arbitrarily, so that also structures in the cm-range can be created rapidly and without problems.

Using 2PP machines makes it possible for the first time to fabricate any 3D structure with submicrometer resolution in one production step. This leads to considerable time and cost advantages for the user. Another advantage is that not only polymers can be processed. By means of choosing a suitable laser system, also a wide variety of other materials can be cut or their surface processed.

To provide for an almost damage-free material processing, ultrashort pulse lasers are used. This is all-important especially if products are made of sensitive materials. The 2PP machine presented at the Hannover Fair can be used universally, and without having to change tools, structures can be fabricated of polymers as well as materials be cut or their surface modified or structured.

This worldwide novelty, presented by the LZH, can be viewed at the joint booth of “hannoverimpuls” in hall 14, booth H 36.

Business Development & Communications Department
Michael Botts
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
Fax: +49 511 2788-100
The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) carries out research and development in the field of laser technology and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr).