Manufacturing based on photolithography has been responsible for ushering in the microelectronics era with enormous societal and economical impact. Extending microfabrication technology to 3D has the potential to revolutionize many diverse fields including biomedicine, energy conversation and storage, and photonic device manufacturing. While many 3D microfabrication techniques exist, they suffer from low throughput and/or low resolution. Importantly, these techniques are not scalable;longer times are required to build larger devices. In this SBIR Fast Track proposal, FemtoFab Inc. seeks funding to demonstrate a novel microfabrication process, wide-field two-photon 3D lithography, which is based on temporal focusing of ultrafast light pulses. This new manufacturing technique, similar to standard 2D photolithography, is high throughput and scalable. Unlike standard photolithography, this technique is capable of manufacturing parts with 3D resolved feature. Among the many diverse applications of this 3D microfabrication process, FemtoFab Inc. has identified the manufacturing of microfluidic devices for biomedical applications as the most promising direction. In biomedicine, microfluidic devices have found applications in numerous areas, such as point-of- care diagnostic, drug discovery, and protein crystallization. The adaptation of wide-field two- photon 3D lithography for manufacturing will address the demand of microfluidic field for lower cost, higher density, and multi-functional devices. At the completion of Phase I, we will demonstrate the fabrication of microfluidic channels with complex 3D structures using this new technique. We will further quantify fabrication speed to prove that will additional investment in instrumentation will result in a microfabrication platform with industrial scale throughput. The additional resources during Phase II of this project will allow us to build and characterize an upgraded wide-field two-photon 3D lithographic microfabrication system with throughput and cost compatible with industrial scale manufacturing. We will further demonstrate the fabrication of complex 3D devices with integrated active microfluidic components such as pumps, valves at high speed and low cost.
In biomedicine, microfluidic devices have found applications in numerous areas, such as point- of-care diagnostic, drug discovery, and protein crystallization. We propose a novel high throughput 3D manufacturing process that addresses the demand of these applications for lower cost, higher density, and multi-functional devices.
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