Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NLL Report Summary

Project ID: 617521
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Turkey

Periodic Report Summary 2 - NLL (Nonlinear Laser Lithography)

The ERC Consolidator Project titled “Nonlinear Laser Lithography — NLL” is inspired by how biological systems exploit nonlinear and stochastic dynamics, in particular feedback mechanisms to control self-organization or self-assembly of materials at multiple scales, ranging from the atomic to macroscopic. In NLL, the PI and his team use custom-developed lasers that they develop to generate ultrafast optical pulses, which are used as highly controllable energy sources to drive the target material far from thermal equilibrium, where driving the entire collective dynamics becomes feasible with very few control parameters. The original implementation of NLL is on surfaces (2D) and functions in ambient atmosphere. The theoretical modeling by the project team has developed to an advanced level such that NLL can be treated as a well-understood model system for such dynamics and this improvement in understanding has already enabled the team to modify and extend its main physical principles to new directions: The most notable accomplishments, thus far, are: (i) extension of NLL from being a surface patterning technique in 2D to the third dimension, resulting in the creation of self-organized 3D structures of arbitrary shape and complexity inside transparent materials, with the initial demonstrations made in silicon, resulting in the first in-chip 3D silicon microstructures and photonic devices (under review, Nature Photonics); (ii) development of a version of NLL, whereby colloidal nanoparticles can be dynamically driven to self-assembly into various aggregates of different geometric patterns (square, hexagonal, Moiré) that display rich, complex behavior such as replication, self-healing, motility and competition with other patterns (in press, Nature Communications, 2017); (iii) advances in the understanding of the physics of the original (2D, ambient atmosphere) incarnation of NLL, which include explanation of the reason and the demonstration of how to switch between the two kinds of structures, also known as normal and anomalous laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS); (iv) demonstration of applications to surface science, namely, control of tribological properties of stainless steel (published in CIRP Ann. Manuf. Techn., 2015 and Tribol. Int., 2016) and wettability of molybdenum and silicon (manuscript under preparation); (v) demonstration of NLL-inspired control of stochastic dynamics of nanomaterial growth to create anisotropic random network of Si quantum dots that has led to the creation of first Si-based material combining quantum confinement with good electrical conductivity (published in Nano Lett., 2016); (vi) inspired by the mechanism of nonlinear feedback in 2D NLL between the laser pulses which locally change the material properties of the target surface, which, in turn, change the scattering and absorption of the laser beam non-locally along the surface, the NLL team has asked the question of how to implement an analogous nonlinear feedback mechanism along the time axis, which has led to the invention of the ablation-cooled laser-material removal regime, achieving orders of magnitude improvement in ablation efficiency, suppression of undesired thermal effects to surrounding regions and reduction of ablation threshold (published in Nature, 2016). In addition to the advances in NLL and its extensions, NLL is driven by the customized laser technology developed by the PI and his team. There have been a number of advances in this front as well, resulting in the publication of 6 articles.

Reported by

Bilkent Üniversitesi
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