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Multimaterial 3D laser microprinting using an integrated microfluidic system

Three-dimensional (3D) laser micro- and nanoprinting has become a versatile, reliable, and commercially available technology for the preparation of complex 3D architectures for diverse applications. However, the vast majority of structures published so far have been composed of only a single constituent material. Here, we present a system based on a microfluidic chamber integrated into a state-of-the-art laser lithography apparatus. This system is scalable in terms of the number of materials and eliminates the need to go back and forth between the lithography instrument and the chemistry room numerous times, with tedious realignment steps in between. As an application, we present 3D deterministic microstructured security features requiring seven different liquids: a nonfluorescent photoresist as backbone, two photoresists containing different fluorescent quantum dots, two photoresists with different fluorescent dyes, and two developers. Our integrated microfluidic 3D printing system opens the door to truly multimaterial 3D additive manufacturing on the micro- and nanoscale.

Source and Read more: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/2/eaau9160

(A) A high-NA oil-immersion microscope objective lens focuses femtosecond laser pulses into a chamber, which is clad by two thin glass windows (light blue). One of them serves as the substrate for the samples. The selection valve shown in Fig. 3 allows for switching between different photoresists (here, one nonfluorescent and four fluorescent) and solvents (acetone and mr-Dev 600), which are injected into the microfluidic chamber. For clarity, the scheme is not to scale. A to-scale technical drawing is shown in Fig. 2B. (B) Structure formulae of the components of one of the fluorescent photoresists containing Atto dye molecules.