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Optimization of LOPA-based direct laser writing technique for fabrication of submicrometric polymer two- and three-dimensional structures

M. T. Do, Q. Li, I. Ledoux-Rak, and N. D. Lai, Proc. SPIE, Photonic Crystal Materials and Devices XI, 9127, 912703 (2014)

We demonstrate a novel and very simple method allowing very easy flexible fabrication of 2D and 3D submicrometric structures. By using a photosensitive polymer (SU8) possessing an ultralow one-photon absorption (LOPA) coefficient at the excition laser wavelength (532 nm) and a high numerical aperture (NA = 1.3, oil immersion) objective lens, various submicrometric structures with feature size as small as 150 nm have been successfully fabricated. We have further investigated the energy accumulation effect in LOPA direct laser writing when the structure lattice constant approaches the diffraction limit. In this case, a proximity correction, i.e., a compensation of the doses between different voxels, was applied, allowing to create uniform and submicrometric structures with a lattice constant as small as 400 nm. As compared to commonly used two-photon absorption microscopy, the LOPA method allows to simplify the experimental setup and also to minimize the photo-damaging or bleaching effect. The idea of using LOPA also opens a new and inexpensive way to optically address 3D structures, namely 3D fluorescence imaging and 3D data storage.

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