3-D Printed Nano-Sculptures Will Blow Your Mind

Interesting Engineering

Uuop6uA[Image Source: Jonty Hurwitz]

Artist Jonty Hurwitz has created so far the most detailed nano-sculptures with 3D printing and a technique called "Multi-Photon Lithography". Similar to standard photolithography techniques, multiphoton lithography is a technique for creating small features in a photosensitive material.

The sculptures are invisible to the naked eye and are on the same scale as human sperm, being smaller than the thickness of human hair.




5GXg8D6[Image Source: Jonty Hurwitz]

Hurwitz describes the process on his website:

Ultimately these works are created using the physical phenomenon of two photon absorption. Art, literally created with Quantum Physics.

If you illuminate a light-sensitive polymer with Ultra Violet wavelengths, it solidifies wherever it was irradiated in a kind of crude lump. Some of you may have experienced a polymer like this first hand at the dentist when your filling is glued in with a UV light.

If however you use longer wavelength intense light, and focus it tightly through a microscope, something wonderful happens: at the focus point, the polymer absorbs TWO PHOTONS and responds as if it had been illuminated by UV light, namely it will solidify. This two photon absorption occurs only at the tiny focal point – basically a tiny 3D pixel (called a Voxel). The sculpture is then moved along fractionally by a computer controlled process and the next pixel is created. Slowly, over hours and hours the entire sculpture is assembled pixel by pixel and layer by layer.

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