[rp-ml] Laser Builds Tiny Structures on Human Hair

From: Blasch, Larry <LBlasch_at_OPW-FC.com>
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 18:29:31 EEST

Sounds amazingly like microscopic SLA...


This is an excerpt...
Using a technique called multiphoton-absorption photopolymerization, or
simply MAP, John Fourkas at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
and colleagues have built structures 1,000 times smaller than the diameter
of a human hair.
"We built the structure on top of the hair with a material that is akin to
plexiglass," says Fourkas. "One of the really exciting and unexpected things
about this is that we found that we could make this structure on the hair
without harming it in any way."
Building with light
MAP is a technique in which a synthetic resin is placed at the focal point
of a laser beam.
The resin turns into a solid polymer when hit with light.
"The basic idea is that you start with a liquid that will turn into a solid
piece of polymer when hit with light," says Fourkas. "This transformation is
driven by a tightly focused laser beam."
The transformation depends on the intensity of the laser, and polymerization
the formation of long, repeating organic polymer chains-occurs only within
the laser's focal point.
"Because the process depends nonlinearly on the laser intensity we can
ensure that the polymerization only occurs within the focal point," says
Fourkas. "By scanning the focal point in three dimensions, arbitrarily
complex objects can be created."
Once a structure has been fabricated, the remaining liquid is washed away
with a solvent.
I imagine that they will be getting a call from the patent attorneys at 3D
Larry Blasch
Design Engineer/CAE Systems Administrator
OPW Fueling Components
P.O. Box 405003
Cincinnati, OH 45240-5003 USA
Voice: (513) 870-3356
Fax: (513) 870-3275
Received on Thu Jun 17 17:46:36 2004

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