Authors: I. Sakellari, E. Kabouraki, D. Gray, V. Purlys, C. Fotakis, A. Pikulin, N. Bityurin, M. Vamvakaki, M. Farsari.
We present a new method for increasing the resolution of direct femtosecond laser writing by multiphoton polymerization, based on quencher diffusion.
This method relies on the combination of a mobile quenching molecule with a slow laser scanning speed, allowing the diffusion of the quencher in the scanned area and the depletion of the multiphotongenerated radicals.
The material we use is an organic-inorganic hybrid, while the quencher is a photopolymerizable amine-based monomer which is bound on the polymer backbone upon fabrication of the structures. We use this method to fabricate woodpile structures with a 400 nm intralayer period. This is comparable to the results produced by direct laser writing based on stimulated-emission-depletion microscopy, the method considered today as state-ofthe-art in 3D structure fabrication.
We optically characterize these woodpiles to show that they exhibit well-ordered diffraction patterns and stopgaps down to near-infrared wavelengths. Finally, we model the quencher diffusion, and we show that radical inhibition is responsible for the increased resolution.