Programmable Mechanical Properties of Two-Photon Polymerized Materials: From Nanowires to Bulk

J. Bauer; A. Guell Izard; Y. Zhang; T. Baldacchini; L. Valdevit

Advanced Materials Technologies 4 (2019) 1900146-1900146

Two-photon polymerization direct laser writing (TPP-DLW) is the most promising technology for additive manufacturing of geometrically complex parts with nanoscale features, and could dramatically accelerate the development of a wide range of engineering micro/nanosystems. However, a major obstacle to TPP-DLW’s widespread industrial adoption is the lack of systematic data on material properties and limited knowledge on their correlation with processing parameters. These correlations for the acrylate-based resin IP-Dip are experimentally established over a large range of process parameters and length scales ranging from nanometers to centimeters. Universal characteristic relations between mechanical properties and process parameters are identified, which enable the tailoring of the material strength and stiffness over half an order of magnitude from rubbery soft to hard and strong. With a threshold-based optics model presented herein, the mechanical properties of the two-photon polymerized material can be accurately captured as a function of the applied process parameters, laying the foundation for a universal quantitative predictability of two-photon polymerization with programmable mechanical properties. This knowledge enables fabrication of microscale components with tailored local gradients in their mechanical properties, with significant implications for the development of novel mechanical, photonic, and photonic metamaterials.