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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institute of Microstructure Technology

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen

Tel.: +49 721 608 26840 (IMT)
Tel.: +49 721 608 47173 (IPQ)
Fax: +49 721 608 28848

E-Mail: infoYrr7∂pilot-3d de
Web:   www.pilot-3d.de

Christian Koos
+49 721 608-42491 (IPQ)/+49 721 608-22770 (IMT)
Christian KoosUks8∂kit edu
Philipp Dietrich
+49 721 608-26840 (IMT) / +49 721 608-47173 (IPQ)
p-i dietrichNcd5∂kit edu

Our Technology

clean room
Clean room
Photonic Professional GT

PILOT 3D‘s compentences ranges from simulation and design to fabrication. Our manufacturing process is embedded in a clean room environment. We have access to technologies ranging from electron beam lithography to micromolding and advanced analytical tools such as SEM (electron microscopy) and AFM (atomic force microscopy). In addition we can supply a variety of optical characterization tools.

PILOT-3D's technology for fabrication of three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures in photo-sensitive materials is based on two-photon lithography. This technique exploits two-photon absorption to induce polymerization of negative-tone photoresists or to break chemical bonds in the case of positive-tone processes. Two-photon polymerization can be used with a large variety of standard UV-curable resists. A necessary condition for this effect is a sufficiently high light intensity that is provided by ultrashort laser pulses. The laser beam is focused into the resist and the polymerization is triggered only in the focal point volume. By moving the focal point through the volume, almost arbitrary 3D objects can be built up.

This technology both allows for additive manufacturing as well as maskless lithography on the sub‑µm scale up to the mm-scale in one device.



Additive Manufacturing

sheped microoptics
Complex shaped micro-optics including Fresnel lenses and prisms can be printed on chips by means of Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT printers
Phase plates
Phase plates written with two-photon polymerization 100 µm above microstructures for bio-sensing

The underlying technology and processes as well as hard- and software implementation enable high-resolution structuring of arbitrary 3D patterns in photosensitive materials. Along a long list of compatible materials that can be used for 3D two-photon lithography are standard resists such as SU-8 as well as acrylic-based resists provided by Nanoscribe GmbH.

The choice of resist is determined by the requirements of the application such as resolution, surface quality, optical characteristics, chemical or temperature resistivity or by the best integration into the production workflow. High-numerical-aperture objectives in combination with galvanometric mirrors allow high-precision fabrication at highest fabrication speeds.

With 3D-lithography processes that priorly required complex technologies such as grey-scale lithography simplify. Optical structures with nearly arbitrary shapes are easily accessible such as phase plates or gratings with optimized blaze. For high volume paralyzed fabrication many 3D-structures can be replicated using techniques such as micro-molding.

Maskless Lithography

sem multigraphs
SEM micrographs of various 2D patterns in positive and negative tone photoresists fabricated with a Photonic Professional GT

Multiphoton patterning processes also allow subtractive manufacturing of positive-tone resists. Here, the nonlinear absorption triggers a local "depolymerization" of the resist, such that the material can be easily washed away in a developer bath in post processing. This enables high resolution as well as 2D structuring of resists at ultra-high aspect ratio on a broad range of transparent (e.g. glass) as well as opaque (e.g. silicon) substrates without the need of photomasks.