Lab on a Chip

Multiphoton Lithography Using a High-Repetition Rate Microchip Laser

Eric T. Ritschdorff, Rex Nielson and Jason B. Shear

Multiphoton lithography (MPL) provides unparalleled capabilities for creating high-resolution, threedimensional (3D) materials from a broad spectrum of building blocks and with few limitations on geometry, qualities that have been key to the design of chemically, mechanically, and biologically functional microforms. Unfortunately, the reliance of MPL on laser scanning limits the speed at which fabrication can be performed, making it impractical in many instances to produce large-scale, highresolution objects such as complex micromachines, 3D microfluidics, etc. Previously, others have demonstrated the possibility of using multiple laser foci to simultaneously perform MPL at numerous sites in parallel, but use of a stage-scanning system to specify fabrication coordinates resulted in the production of identical features at each focal position. As a more general solution to the bottleneck problem, we demonstrate here the feasibility for performing multi-focal MPL using a dynamic mask to differentially modulate foci, an approach that enables each fabrication site to create independent (uncorrelated) features within a larger, integrated microform. In this proof-of-concept study, two simultaneously scanned foci produced the expected two-fold decrease in fabrication time, and this approach could be readily extended to many scanning foci by using a more powerful laser. Finally, we show that use of multiple foci in MPL can be exploited to assign heterogeneous properties (such as differential swelling) to micromaterials at distinct positions within a fabrication zone.

Lab on a Chip, 2012, 12, 867