Adding chemically selective subtraction to multi-material 3D additive manufacturing

  • Author:

    D. Gräfe, A. Wickberg, M.M. Zieger, M. Wegener, E. Blasco, and C. Barner-Kowollik

  • Source:

    Nat. Commun. 9, 2788 (2018)

  • Date: 17.07.2018
  • Abstract:

    Existing photoresists for 3D laser lithography that can be removed after development in a subtractive manner typically suffer from harsh cleavage conditions. Here, we report chemoselectively cleavable photoresists for 3D laser lithography based on silane crosslinkers, allowing the targeted degradation of 3D printed microstructures under mild conditions. Three bifunctional silane crosslinkers carrying various substitutions on the silicon atom are synthesized. The photoresists are prepared by mixing these silane crosslinkers with pentaerythritol triacrylate and a two-photon photoinitiator. The presence of pentaerythritol triacrylate significantly enhances the direct laser written structures with regard to resolution, while the microstructures remain cleavable. For the targeted cleavage of the fabricated 3D microstructures, simply a methanol solution including inorganic salts is required, highlighting the mild cleavage conditions. Critically, the photoresists can be cleaved selectively, which enables the sequential degradation of direct laser written structures and allows for subtractive manufacturing at the micro- and nanoscale.