Femtosecond laser processing with the NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Nano-fabrication system allows direct writing of micro-, sub-micron and even nano-scale 3D micro and nano structures in transparent media, with the advantages of maskless, flexible structure, simple design and fast processing speed. By combining with different optical materials, it can achieve a wide range of applications in the field of all-optical communication, especially in the fabrication of diffractive optics, integrated optics, on-chip optics, silicon photonics, nano-optics, and quantum optics, which stand out among the many micro and nano fabrication technologies and become increasingly important in enabling technology.
Three-dimensional micro-nano structures can be designed to enhance the interaction between the local optical field and matter, thus giving rise to a variety of linear and non-linear optical phenomena and shortening the scale of action, thus effectively achieving miniaturization, integration and low energy consumption of devices. For example, Nanoprint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-Fabrication system can realize various miniature diffractive optical elements including micro-lens, integrated grating, and waveband sheet, which can play a great role in imaging, wavelength selection and dispersion compensation.
In addition, the NanoPrint system’s unique high-power femtosecond laser enables interaction with different materials such as glass, silicon, sulfur-based glass, and lithium niobate crystals. These materials can effectively introduce nonlinear optical interactions for wavelength conversion, optical switching, nonlinear tuning, etc. Nonlinear interactions in nanoscale waveguides can be exploited to generate effective sources of entangled photons for quantum optics. Femtosecond lasers can introduce ultra-high refractive index changes in optical fibers, bulk glass, and two-dimensional materials to form high-quality optical waveguides, ultra-thin devices, and complex three-dimensional integrated optical systems such as optical connectors and on-chip integration, which are essential enabling components for ultrafast, ultra-high-capacity, and quantum communications
Two-dimensional (2D) materials usually refer to materials containing single or multiple layers of atoms, ranging in thickness from single atomic layers to tens of nanometers. A variety of 2D materials such as graphene, boron nitride, transition metal sulfides, black phosphorus and chalcogenides have been successfully separated. Two-dimensional materials exhibit exceptional physicochemical properties, such as atomic layer thickness, strong nonlinear optical properties, magnetic properties, and excellent mechanical properties. These properties, which are very different from their block counterparts, create new opportunities for the application of 2D materials in nanodevices, especially in photonics.
Recently various 2D material micro/nanostructures and functional devices have been proposed and designed by various fabrication methods to achieve their excellent performance. Ultrafast laser direct writing technology has been widely used in material patterning, modification, and functionalization due to its rich mechanism and dynamics of light-matter interaction, special three-dimensional fabrication capability, flexibility of arbitrary structure design, and minimal thermal effects, which enable processing accuracy up to tens of nanometers and fully demonstrate its outstanding fabrication capability. Its ultra-high resolution and fabrication accuracy, simple and flexible fabrication methods and excellent cost performance are indispensable for the preparation of next-generation large-area, high-performance, portable, integrated and flexible devices.
The NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication System uses laser direct writing technology to prepare functional photonic devices such as ultra-thin lenses, graphene metamaterials, perfect absorbers, and holographic displays in 2D materials. In addition, ultrafast laser direct writing technology can be used for local nonlinear property modification of 2D materials by simply adding 2D material layers to conventional photonic devices and transforming them into highly nonlinear systems. This approach offers great flexibility to achieve ultra-fast speeds and greatly enhance the performance of all-optical communication systems.
In today’s society where everything is smart, sensors are playing an increasingly important role in our daily lives and in the Internet of Things. Sensors monitor our health (e.g. heartbeat), air quality, home security, and are widely used in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to monitor production processes. Our lives are surrounded by smartphones, wearables, and other smart devices, all of which are inseparable from sensors.
Widely used sensors in daily life include thermometers, pressure sensors, light sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, motion sensors, gas sensors and so on. Their design and manufacturing often rely on traditional electromechanical processing, which has a single function, large size and high energy consumption, and is not suitable for the new sensor miniaturization, integration, integration, high precision and low energy requirements. Therefore, how to innovate fabrication methods and improve the fabrication process has become a difficult problem in the field of sensing.
The NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication System can write flexible design and versatile 3D micro-nano structures in a variety of materials including polymers, 2D materials, metals, semiconductors, crystals, optical fibers, and other materials to form sensing mechanisms. Its writing method is flexible and simple to fabricate, and no vacuum or mask is required. More importantly, the written structure is small and highly integrated, and can form an immersion sensing with the substrate or environment. It is also possible to introduce in-situ high-precision sensors directly at the sites that need to be measured in sensing, without damaging the original environment and overall appearance.
In particular, graphene micro and nano sensors realized with NanoPrint system have been playing an important role in artificial skin, intelligent robots, health care, early diagnosis of diseases, wearable devices, etc. in recent years. In addition, FBG fabricated by the unique patented technology with NanoPrint system has the characteristics of easy operation, fast writing speed, stable process, flexible formation of a variety of special grating, and high raster rate. It solves the problems of expensiveness, complex process and single grating structure with the traditional fiber grating fabrication equipment. The formed FBG has large change in refractive index, high temperature resistance, high performance index and good stability, has replaced the traditional fiber grating and plays an irreplaceable role in the high temperature and high pressure environment.
Micro-optical components are key components in the manufacture of small optoelectronic systems, which have the advantages of small size, light weight, low cost, and can achieve novel functions such as tiny, array, integration, imaging and wavefront conversion that are difficult to achieve with ordinary optical components. At present, miniaturization and integration of optical systems have become a major trend in various applications. Micro-optics are playing an increasing role in optical imaging and display systems, optoelectronic systems, laser devices, thermal imaging devices, night vision devices, infrared scanning devices, display systems, camera systems, zoom lenses, medical diagnostic fundoscopes, endoscopes, progressive lenses, cell phones, PDAs, CDs and DVDs, etc.
Driven by the application demand, the research on micro-optical component fabrication technology is also in progress. In addition to the traditional ultra-precision mechanical fabrication technology, a variety of modern fabrication technologies have also emerged, such as electron beam writing technology, photolithography, etching technology, replication technology and coating technology. These technologies are developed from microelectronic component microfabrication technology, but unlike the original electronic components, three-dimensional molding accuracy and assembly accuracy is critical for optical components, will directly affect their performance, so each of these methods has its own defects and limitations of use. Generally speaking, machining accuracy and machining speed and output are conflicting goals that are difficult to balance.
The fabrication of NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication system, based on the non-linear action of laser and matter, can realize three-dimensional high-precision micro-nano structures in a variety of materials, providing a new idea for micro-optical component fabrication. It also utilizes the technology of multi-focus parallel processing, which can increase the fabrication efficiency and productivity hundreds of times, pushing the laser direct writing technology from the laboratory to the production manufacturing environment.
The laser 3D nano-fabrication technology represented by NanoPrint system has realized the fabrication of aspheric lenses, microlens arrays, pyramidal microstructure surfaces, reflection-reducing gratings, free-form optical elements and other structures with advantages that traditional fabrication equipment does not have, such as flexible structure design, high precision and high speed. It is mainly characterized by the ability to fabricate true three-dimensional structures with nanometer-level precision.
In recent years, femtosecond pulsed lasers have been widely used in microfluidic devices, microsensors, biomedical and other micro and nano manufacturing fields. Especially in the biomedical field, the laser can realize complex and fine micro and nano structure processing, which can best meet the requirements of some special applications of biomedical products.
Compared with traditional fabrication methods, femtosecond pulsed laser micro-fabrication has the advantages of “cold” processing, low energy consumption, low damage, high precision, and strict positioning in 3D space, which has a good prospect in biological device fabrication. Laser micromachining technology gives new structures and functions to biological materials and can be used for cell culture to achieve permanent repair of damaged tissues or organs, which has become the development direction of contemporary biomedicine.
Although laser micro-fabrication technology can fabricate a new generation of implantable medical devices with extremely fine structures, making the next generation of implantable medical devices commercially viable, the development of laser micro-fabrication technology in the biomedical field is still immature, with low production efficiency and working stability to be improved.
For laser micro-fabrication, there is no complete set of theories to explain the physical nature of laser-material interaction under the extreme conditions of ultra-fast, ultra-short and ultra-intense, and the impact of laser micro-fabrication on the material structure and its physical and chemical properties cannot be well evaluated. The next step of work still needs a lot of basic and regular research, and at the same time, we need to develop simulation and analysis software to simulate the micro-fabrication process and optimize the parameters of the laser micro-fabrication process according to the characteristics of laser micro-fabrication and the properties of the fabricated material.
NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-Fabrication system can be widely used in biology for surface micro-fabrication of biomaterials, preparation of medical MEMS components, processing of vascular scaffold structures, rapid prototyping of biological scaffolds and cell feeding scaffolds.
Laser surface treatment of materials is an important technology because it can enhance various device properties such as surface strength, hardness, roughness, coefficient of friction, chemical resistance, and corrosion resistance of various materials. Such improvements to material surfaces are not only ideal when wear rates and shear stresses are high but can also maintain or extend the functional life of components by covering microcracks in the surface (e.g., in industrial ceramics) and repairing defects and breakage.
Compared to traditional laser fabrication based on thermal mechanisms, the NanoPrint 3D Intelligent Laser Nano-fabrication System’s femtosecond technology is a cold process. The high-intensity femtosecond pulses provide a localized hyperthermal environment (local temperatures near the focal point can exceed several thousand degrees), but the overall temperature of the workpiece does not rise. Therefore, this kind of fabrication has many advantages such as high precision, good manipulation, rich response mechanism, high flexibility, high controllability, smooth processing surface, low waste, etc. It is the first choice for scientific research, industrial applications, especially plays an important role in industrial precision cutting, welding, surface treatment and industrial marking.
Microfluidics means 1) the miniaturization of experimental instruments and equipment (tens to hundreds of microns in size); 2) the fact that the experimental object is a fluid (nanolitres to litres in volume); 3) the control, manipulation and handling of fluids on miniaturized equipment. Microfluidics is the integration of the basic operating units of sample preparation, reaction, separation, and detection of biological, chemical, and medical analytical processes onto a micron-scale chip, which automatically completes the entire analytical process.
The microfluidic chip is the main platform for the implementation of microfluidic technology. Its most important feature is that a multifunctional integrated system and a large number of composite systems of micro-all-analysis systems can be formed on a chip. The microfluidic chip uses micromachined electrical processing technology similar to that of semiconductors to build a microfluidic system on the chip, which reproduces experimental and analytical processes on a chip structure consisting of interconnected pathways and liquid-phase chambers, loaded with biological samples and reaction solutions followed by micromechanical pumps. Methods such as electrohydraulic pumping and electroosmotic flow drive the flow of the buffer in the chip, forming a microfluidic path to perform one or more consecutive reactions on the chip.
The NanoPrint 3D intelligent laser nano-fabrication system uses a variety of detection systems such as laser induced fluorescence, electrochemistry and chemistry as well as many assays combined with analytical tools such as mass spectrometry have been used in microfluidic chips for rapid, accurate and high throughput analysis of samples.