Micro- and Nanoscale Fabrication Processes
The process of fabrication involves the preparation of uniquely shaped molds from a suitable liquid- or solid-state starting material. The development process begins with a concept or an idea aimed at solving a technical problem, continues with the creation of a new design using a computer (numerical simulations and / or CAD tools) and results in a strategy to translate the design into a physical object using a suitable manufacturing process.
There are many fabrication processes, each with procedural advantages and disadvantages. Laser-based methods, which have unique advantages over others, are used in the subject area "micro-and nanoscale fabrication". Due to non-linear optical effects (multiple photon absorption), it is possible to produce 3-D structures with a high level of resolution, which is not possible with other methods. The optimization of the technical application of the method has also resulted in an optimization of processing time, which allows not only individual structures, but also small batch series to be produced. This method also allows the production of custom-made tools that can be used in the replicative process. Additionally, they are suitable for the large-scale production of nanostructured surfaces (roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography).
The specific focus of this subject area is placed on the simulation and construction of three-dimensional structures as well as on the application of innovative structuring methods in such diverse technical and scientific areas as photonics, nanotechnology, electronics, bionics or biomimicry and materials science. In addition to the optimization of the structuring methods, the strategic combination of different methods to create a shared technological platform is crucial to construct large-area structured substrates from miniscule structural units. This synergism allows for a comprehensive process, which extends from concept to product development, to stem from a single source and greatly benefit science and the industry.