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Nanoscribe wins Laser Munich award for microoptics printing

Nanoscribe has won an innovation award at Laser World of Photonics for its Quantum X maskless lithography system.

Quantum X, which was released at the Munich trade fair, is designed for industrial fabrication of refractive and diffractive microoptics, and is based on the firm’s two-photon greyscale lithography technology.

The prize, sponsored by the publishers of Electro Optics, was presented to Nanoscribe on the first day of the show on 24 June. Nanoscribe was selected by the jury – made up of the heads of the Optical Society, Spectaris, and Toptica, among others – as the winner from a shortlist of finalists covering biophotonics, imaging and sensing, lasers and optoelectronics, and industrial lasers.

Quantum X fabricates almost any 2.5D shape on the microscale, which paves the way for enhanced optical elements for imaging, illumination, and sensing.

Nanoscribe’s two-photon greyscale lithography (2GL) technology combines greyscale lithography with two-photon polymerisation to print freeform optics very accurately.

Laser power modulation and dynamic focus positioning are synchronised at high scanning speeds, enabling full voxel size control along each scanning plane. Quantum X produces simple and complex optical shapes with variable feature heights within each scan field. Discrete and accurate steps, as well as quasi-continuous topographies, can be printed in one step without the need for several lithography steps or multiple mask fabrication.

The fabrication process works with a wide range of substrates, including transparent and opaque ones. The system has a build capacity of up to six-inch wafers. Working with the device avoids costly mask fabrication, spin-coating, and pre- or post-baking when used with Nanoscribe photoresins.

Multilevel diffractive optical elements can be produced by modulating the laser power in one scanning plane, reducing the print time necessary for multi-layer microfabrication.

The system is equipped with three live-view cameras for process control and a resin dispenser. To simplify the changeover between hardware configurations, objective and sample holder recognition run automatically. Quantum X microfabrication shortens design iteration cycles, saving time along the printing process.

Martin Hermatschweiler, CEO of Nanoscribe, said after the award ceremony: ‘After a very intensive technical development phase, this is a great recognition for our team and for the outstanding performance of our new maskless lithography system Quantum X.’

Nanoscribe is a provider of solutions for additive nano- and microfabrication. In addition to the Quantum X and Photonic Professional GT2 devices, the company develops its own printing materials as well as processes for optimal interaction of hardware, software, and suitable photoresins.

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