Small Equipment Grant: Three Dimensional Translation Stage for Femtosecond Laser Irradiation of Polymers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chem Eng and Analytical Science


The proposal requests a 3-D translation stage to facilitate investigation of 3-D writing of refractive index structures beneath the surface of un-doped poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) using tuneable femtosecond (fs) laser irradiation. The aim is to: (1) Minimise feature size by using holographic optics; minimising the writing wavelength used (down to 240nm). (2) Maximise the refractive index modulation by appropriate choice of writing wavelength (240-1200nm) and velocity, laser fluence and number of overwrites. (3) Investigate photochemistry using analytical techniques.(4) Explore two-photon stereolithography for direct and indirect fabrication of polymer microstructures. The proposal is multidisciplinary; exploiting expertise in optical waveguide/fibre instrumentation, polymer and analytical chemistry at the University of Manchester, access to a femtosecond laser and a PhD studentship supplied by Unilever (Port Sunlight) and a femtosecond loan pool laser supplied by Rutherford Appleton Laser Loan Pool Facility.