Two-Photon Laser Writing of Soft Responsive Polymers via Temperature-Controlled Polymerization

Year: 2021

Authors: De Bellis I.; Nocentini S.; Delli Santi M.G.; Martella D.; Parmeggiani C.; Zanotto S.; Wiersma D.S.

Autors Affiliation: European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), University of Florence, Via Nello Carrara 1, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy; Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica INRiM, Strada delle Cacce 91, Turin, 10135, Italy; CNR-INO, Via Nello Carrara 1, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy; Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff,”, University of Florence, Via della Lastruccia 3-13, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy; Istituto Nanoscienze – CNR and NEST – Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza S. Silvestro 12, Pisa, 56127, Italy; Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Via Sansone 1, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy

Abstract: Enhancing the resolution of 3D patterning techniques in functional soft polymers enlarges the application areas of responsive shape-changing materials, for tunable nanophotonics and nanorobotics. Thanks to the recent advances of polymer science, the palette of available materials for nanomanufacturing is becoming wider and wider–although the comprehension of their polymerization process by two-photon polymerization is still incomplete. In this work, both shrinking of the minimal polymerizable unit and a significant improvement of the mechanical stability of microstructured soft polymers, in particular of liquid crystalline networks, are demonstrated. To this aim, temperature control enhances the resolution and reduces the swelling of the polymerized structures, thus avoiding deviations of the final structure from the intended design. This fine control on the nanoscale features enables the use of soft responsive materials not only for bulky microelements, but also for high-resolution structures with more complex design.


Volume: 15 (8)      Pages from: 2100090-1  to: 2100090-8

More Information: I.D.B. and S.N. contributed equally to this work. The research leading to these results received funding from Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (2020/1583, 2018/1047), Fondo di Beneficenza Intesa San Paolo 2019 to the project “Multifunctional Optofluidic Devices for the Early Stage Diagnosis of Alzheimer´s Disease through the Molecular Screening of Cerebrospinal Fluid-DOPTOSCREEN” (B/2019/0289), and Fondo premiale FOE to the project “Volume Photography: Measuring Three Dimensional Light Distributions without Opening the Box” (E17G17000300001).
KeyWords: direct laser lithographyhy; drogel; liquid crystalline networks; soft responsive polymers; temperature dependence
DOI: 10.1002/lpor.202100090