New probabilities for 2PP 3-d printing of complicated microstructures

Unmarried-micron embedded microfluidic chips the usage of a NanoOne 2PP 3-d printer. Manuel Loetz and co-workers effectively published a droplet-chip generator with a channel duration of greater than 20 cm, a channel diameter of handiest 30 µm, and an interchannel spacing of four µm. Credit score: UpNano GmbH

In a chain of research, scientists from the NeptunLab on the College of Freiburg (Germany) have driven the opportunity of two-photon polymerization 3-d printing (2PP 3-d printing) past present limits. Having demonstrated their skill to 3-d print platinum microstructures with astonishing sub-micron accuracy in 2021, this yr the group succeeded in generating equivalent constructions product of tungsten in addition to embedded microfluidic chips with sub-micrometer accuracy and at an exceptional velocity.

Main scientist Manuel Loetz used the NanoOne 2PP 3-d printer from UpNano GmbH (Austria). Following its a hit hiring of Luitz for UpNano, the corporate will proceed to redefine the foundations of 2PP 3-d printing viability.

Two main boundaries for wider software of high-resolution 2PP 3-d printing are the printing velocity and the fabrics to be had for the important photopolymerization. Now, throughout his time on the Procedure Era Laboratory (NeptunLab) on the College of Freiburg in Germany, Lowitz has been ready to seriously scale back those boundaries in analysis spanning a number of years.

The result of this paintings had been revealed in 3 consecutive magazine papers Complicated fabrics, Complicated engineering fabricsand the newest in Complicated fabrics generation.

Cleansing the sensible chip channel

On this newest construction, Loetz and co-workers define a construction scheme for single-micron compact microfluidic chips the usage of a NanoOne printer from UpNano GmbH (Austria). This printer is the quickest 2PP 3-d printer available on the market, in a position to high-resolution 3-d printing of over 15 wonderful orders. The usage of the ability of a printer, the group used to be ready to print a chip which may be hooked up by the use of a chip interface to the sector with a force pump.

“It is a main step forward in microfluidic chip fabrication,” explains Lowitz, “as a result of probably the most main hurdles to high-resolution 3-d printing of microfluidic chips is washing the embedded channels freed from unprocessed subject material.” This made it imaginable to provide zigzag chips with channel lengths as much as 20 cm, droplet generator chips and a mobile sorter chip in keeping with deterministic lateral displacement with column diameters of 30 μm and column spacing of four μm.

“Microfluidic chips with centimeter dimensions and micrometer decision may also be published in a cheap period of time of not up to 12 hours the usage of the NanoOne,” Lowitz explains.

Taming Tungsten

Ahead of that, Lowitz used the NanoOne printer for a fully other goal, one that will dramatically make bigger the variety of fabrics which may be 3-d published with 2PP. He “tamed” tungsten and tungsten carbide for a high-precision additive production procedure. This used to be now not a very easy activity as a result of each fabrics are recognized to be extraordinarily exhausting (Mohs scale 9.0) and warmth resistant (melting level > 3400°C), making them tough to paintings with. Then again, high-precision gadgets product of tungsten and its carbides are in nice call for for packages akin to emitter guidelines, probes, micro-instruments, in addition to metamaterials or catalysis.

“The usage of the NanoOne printer, we had been ready to design a producing procedure in keeping with natural and inorganic photonic resins containing tungsten ions,” explains Lowitz. “The polymer portions are then thermally separated and lowered, leaving tungsten portions with a last decision of two micrometers and tungsten carbide portions with a last decision of seven micrometers.” ”

Luitz’s good fortune on the NeptunLab on the “Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik –IMTEK” in “taming” tungsten for 2PP 3-d printing the usage of NanoOne didn’t pop out of nowhere. The group had in the past completed a equivalent end result with platinum. In truth, they had been ready to provide free-standing nanopillars in addition to 3-d platinum microstructures with a decision of 300 nm. Such small constructions will to find use in lots of engineering packages, together with metamaterials and catalysis, the place the massive floor space and bodily and chemical houses of platinum are extremely fascinating.

additional information:
Manuel Loetz et al., Fabrication of compact microfluidic chips with one-micron decision the usage of two-photon lithography, Complicated fabrics applied sciences (2023). doi: 10.1002/admt.202300667

Manuel Loetz et al., Prime-resolution modeling of natural and inorganic photonic resins for tungsten and tungsten carbide microstructures, Complicated engineering fabrics (2023). DOI: 10.1002/adem.202201927

Manuel Loetz et al., Prime-precision design of natural and inorganic photonic resins for the fabrication of platinum microstructures, Complicated fabrics (2021). doi: 10.1002/adma.202101992

Equipped through UpNano GmbH

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