fabbrica_per_prodotti_personalizzabiliTitolo: POLYmer nanostructuring by two-PHoton Absorption

Area: 1 – Fabbrica per prodotti personalizzati

Call topic: 1.1 – Metodologie per la progettazione congiunta di prodotti personalizzati, processi e sistemi produttivi

Coordinatore: Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie


  • Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie, CNR
  • Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria
  • Chimica “G.Natta”, Politecnico di Milano

Gruppo di interesse industriale:

  • A.P.E.Research S.r.l. (Trieste),
  • Datalogic Automation Srl (Monte San Pietro (BO)),
  • Solvay Specialty Polymers Italy S.p.A. (Bollate (MI))

Abstract: Two-photon polymerization (2PP) is an innovative technology that in recent years showed a tremendous potential for three-dimensional structuring of photopolymers at the submicron scale. It is based on the nonlinear absorption of ultrashort laser pulses in transparent photosensitive materials. 2PP has been so far exploited in various fields, including photonics, microfluidics, regenerative medicine and MEMS prototyping. The versatility of this technology relies also in the photomaterials: indeed polymers are easy to process, low cost and they allow the tailoring of their chemical and mechanical properties. In this project we propose the use of 2PP nanotechnology to produce micro and nanostructures that can be easily customized both in their geometry and in polymer functionalization. Particular attention will be devoted to atomic force microscopy tips and nanoporous membranes that can be fabricated by 2PP as a single custom product or as a mold for mass production through replica molding.

Ideas and solutions:

Development of two-photon polymerization and replica molding as suitable fabrication technologies for the production of custom products

  • development of new hydrophobic and solvent resistant photopolymers
  • fabrication of 3D structures by 2PP of new photopolymers
  • fabrication of hydrophobic tips for atomic force microscopy
  • replica molding of 2PP fabricated masters


Follow up:

polyphab-2The main results obtained in POLYPHAB project can be summarized as:

Development of two-photon polymerization protocols

  • Optimization of laser fabrication process
  • New photoresists development

Prototyping and validation of tailored Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) tips

  • Fabrication of AFM tips in Perfluoropolyether-based polymer
  • Experimental validation of AFM tip on hydrophilic sample

Replica molding of cantilever-free polymeric tips and porous membranes

  • Fabrication of master by 2PP
  • Replica molding of porous membrane

 POLYPHAB project allowed validating two-photon polymerization as a new technology for customized products fabrication

The positive results of POLYPHAB project give birth to new opportunities to further explore the customization offered by two-photon polymerization and replica molding

  • AFM tip functionalization and testing of biological and functional surfaces
  • Development of specialty photoresists with tailored surface properties (chemical sensing)
  • Development of AFM micromechanical testing models and protocols for soft and biological surfaces
  • Fabrication of smaller pore membranes
  • Test of porous membranes in microfluidic chips for water filtering and analysis

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