Monday, 11 October 2004 - 9:55 AM

This presentation is part of : Recent Progress in Laser-assisted Micro/Nanoprocessing

Laser micro- and nanomachining efforts in Germany (invited talk)

Andreas Ostendorf, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V., Hollerithallee 8, Hannover, 30419, Germany

Nanotechnology is generally regarded as one of the technologies with huge economic potential. Apart from photolithography, lasers only play a minor role in nanotechnology, mainly due to the diffraction limit. However, there are new developments especially on the basis of ultrafast lasers which impressively demonstrate possibilities to overcome the classical diffraction limit. By making use of extremely sharp ablation thresholds it is possible to generate structures down to 100 nm. The same technique can be used with more generally spoken modification thresholds. By rapidly heating and melting metallic materials one can generate bump-like structures with the same dimension. Applying this idea to a two-photon polymerization process it is even possible to generate arbitrary complex three-dimensional structures with a resolution far below the diffraction limit. Additionally, there is a strong dependence of the minimal structure sizes on the bandgap for non-metallic materials. For high bandgap materials it is possible to explore the nonlinearities by making use of the effective beam profile which becomes narrower with increasing number of photons necessary to overcome the bandgap. The paper provides an overview on different approaches and will show some areas of application, as well.

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