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One-step fabrication of submicrostructures by low one-photon absorption direct laser writing technique with local thermal effect

Dam Thuy Trang Nguyen, Quang Cong Tong, Isabelle Ledoux-Rak, Ngoc Diep Lai, Journal of Applied Physics 119(1), 013101 (2016)

In this work, local thermal effect induced by a continuous-wave laser has been investigated and exploited to optimize the low one-photon absorption (LOPA) direct laser writing(DLW) technique for fabrication of polymer-based microstructures. It was demonstrated that the temperature of excited SU8 photoresist at the focusing area increases to above 100 °C due to high excitation intensity and becomes stable at that temperature thanks to the use of a continuous-wave laser at 532 nm-wavelength. This optically induced thermal effect immediately completes the crosslinking process at the photopolymerized region, allowing obtain desired structures without using the conventional post-exposure bake (PEB) step, which is usually realized after the exposure. Theoretical calculation of the temperature distribution induced by local optical excitation using finite element method confirmed the experimental results. LOPA-based DLW technique combined with optically induced thermal effect (local PEB) shows great advantages over the traditional PEB, such as simple, short fabrication time, high resolution. In particular, it allowed the overcoming of the accumulation effect inherently existed in optical lithography by one-photon absorption process, resulting in small and uniform structures with very short lattice constant.

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