FEMTOPRINT is to develop a printer for microsystems with nano-scale features fabricated out of glass. Our ultimate goal is to provide a large pool of users from industry, research and universities with the capability of producing their own micro-systems, in a rapid-manner without the need for expensive infrastructures and specific expertise. Recent researches have shown that one can form three-dimensional patterns in glass material using low-power femtosecond laser beam. This simple process opens interesting new opportunities for a broad variety of microsystems with feature sizes down to the nano-scale. These patterns can be used to form integrated optics components or be ‘developed’ by chemically etching to form three-dimensional structures like fluidic channels and micro-mechanical components. Worth noticing, sub-micron resolution can be achieved and sub-pattern smaller than the laser wavelength can be formed. Thanks to the low-energy required to pattern the glass, femtosecond laser consisting simply of an oscillator are sufficient to produce such micro- and nano- systems. These systems are nowadays table-top and cost a fraction of conventional clean-room equipments. It is highly foreseeable that within 3 to 5 years such laser systems will fit in a shoe-box. The proposal specific objectives are: 1/ Develop a femtosecond laser suitable for glass micro-/nano- manufacturing that fits in a shoe-box 2/ Integrate the laser in a machine similar to a printer that can position and manipulate glass sheets of various thicknesses 3/ Demonstrate the use of the printer to fabricate a variety of micro-/nano-systems with optical, mechanical and fluid-handling capabilities. A clear and measurable outcome of Femtoprint will be to be in a situation to commercialize the ‘femtoprinter’ through the setting-up of a consortium spin-off. The potential economical impact is large and is expected in various industrial sectors.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)