The installation of a Nanoscribe 3D printing system at the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center (BRNC) close to Zurich opens up entirely new opportunities regarding current and future research in nano- and microfabrication for ETH Zurich and IBM Research.
The Photonic Professional GT, the most precise 3D printer on the market for fabricating nano- and microstructures, was installed in one of the cleanrooms at BRNC, a leading European research institute. It will mainly be used for the fabrication of micro-robots, 3D lattices, mechanical metamaterials, and other micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
Dr. Stefan Blunier from the ETH Zurich stated: “A Nanoscribe system (Photonic Professional) installed in June 2010 at ETH Zurich is very popular among different research groups and therefore operates at high capacity. Thus, acquiring a second, modernized and faster system was planned. In a research environment like the BNRC, the Photonic Professional GT is optimally placed.” Contrary to other 3D printing processes, Photonic Professional GT systems are based on the technology of two-photon polymerization, which enables unique results regarding resolution and precision in nano- and microfabrication. These systems overcome the limitations of stereo lithography. Structural details of one micrometer and less are standard in this process with a surface roughness in optical quality. Polymer photoresists work as materials.
More than one century of intensive research and development work is incorporated in this high-tech system by Nanoscribe, the current global market and technology leader. Process automation and reproducibility combined with the highest resolution, fast writing speed, and tremendous design freedom are the strengths of this system, which was developed for numerous fields of application. Frequent applications are photonics, micro-optics, micro fluidics, as well as material and life sciences. In the last year, the system was awarded the Prism Award in the category of “Advanced Manufacturing”, which is one of the most important awards in the area of photonics.