It's in the Fine Print: Erasable Three‐Dimensional Laser‐Printed Micro‐ and Nanostructures

  • Author:

    D. Gräfe, S.L. Walden, J. Blinco, M. Wegener, E. Blasco, and C. Barner‐Kowollik

  • Source:

    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 6330 – 6340 (2020)

  • Date: 7.04.2020
  • Abstract:

    3D printing, on all scales, is currently a vibrant topic in scientific and industrial research as it has enormous potential to radically change manufacturing. Owing to the inherent nature of the manufacturing process, 3D printed structures may require additional material to structurally support complex features. Such support material must be removed after printing—sometimes termed subtractive manufacturing—without adversely affecting the remaining structure. An elegant solution is the use of photoresists containing labile bonds that allow for controlled cleavage with specific triggers. Herein, we explore state‐of‐the‐art cleavable photoresists for 3D direct laser writing, as well as their potential to combine additive and subtractive manufacturing in a hybrid technology. We discuss photoresist design, feature resolution, cleavage properties, and current limitations of selected examples. Furthermore, we share our perspective on possible labile bonds, and their corresponding cleavage trigger, which we believe will have a critical impact on future applications and expand the toolbox of available cleavable photoresists.