Innovation and Partnerships Office

Optofluidic 3D Printing 2015-028

APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:

  • Structured optical fibers
  • Biomedical devices
  • Optoelectronics
  • Fiber photonics

ADVANTAGES:

  • Can produce arbitrarily shaped 3D structures
  • High throughput with high resolution
  • Free from batch-sized process limitations
  • No restriction on channel wall material

ABSTRACT:

Using axial plane optical microscopy (APOM) technology developed at Berkeley Lab, lab researchers have discovered an application for optofluidic three-dimensional printing enabling advancements and innovation in optical fibers and biomedical devices. In this 3D printing approach, axial light patterns are projected in the microfluidic resist flows by reversely utilizing the unique optical path of APOM. By changing the light pattern and maintaining constant photoresist flows, the projected UV light pattern becomes a cross-section of photo-polymerized 3D structures. The result is a higher resolution, higher throughput technology than currently available.

Unlike traditional optical lithography-based 3D printing approaches, such as sterolithography (SL) and two-photon lithography (2PL), the Berkeley Lab optofluidic 3D printing technology allows high throughput with high resolution and eliminates batch-sized processes that limit product size. Other optofluidic lithography approaches are free from batch-sized processes, but production is limited to 2D shapes and channel wall materials are extremely limited.

DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.

STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Axial and Arbitrary Plane Optical Microscope, 2013-153