Novel photoresist enables 3-D printing of smallest porous structures
A system for 3D printing nanoporous structures has been used for the first time,
Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University have developed a photoresist for two-photon microprinting. It has now been used for the first time to produce three-dimensional polymer microstructures with cavities in the nano range. In Advanced Materials, the scientists report how porosity can be controlled during printing and how this affects light scattering properties of the microstructures.
Photoresists are printing inks used to print smallest microstructures in three dimensions by so-called two-photon lithography. During printing, a laser beam is moved in all spatial directions through the initially liquid photoresist. The photoresist hardens in the focal point of the laser beam only. Little by little, complex microstructures can be built in this way. In a second step, a solvent is used to remove those areas that were not exposed to radiation. Complex polymer architectures in the micrometer and nanometer ranges remain.
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