The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center (BRNC) in Zurich, Switzerland has installed the Prism Award-winning Photonic Professional GT 3D printer from Nanoscribe. This will allow IBM Research and ETH Zurich access to nano- and microfabrication techniques opening new opportunities for research.
The BRNC is the centerpiece of a public-private partnership in nanosciences and technology of ETH Zurich and IBM Research. It features cutting-edge infrastructure for nanotechnology research and is well known for its noise-free labs.
The GT is the second system from Nanoscribe to be introduced to the Swiss research institute; its predecessor was installed in 2010. Dr Stefan Blunier from the ETH Zurich stated: ‘A Nanoscribe system (Photonic Professional) installed in June 2010 at ETH Zurich is very popular among different research groups and therefore operates at high capacity. Thus, acquiring a second, modernised and faster system was planned. In a research environment like the BNRC, the Photonic Professional GT is optimally placed.’
The Photonic Professional GT will mainly be used for the fabrication of micro-robots, 3D lattices, mechanical metamaterials, and other micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
MEMS are attracting an increasing amount of attention at the moment; recently Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ITIS) developed a coating technique that allows mirror mounted MEMS to withstand multi-kilowatt powers which was demonstrated at Laser World of Photonics. This opens up applications in cutting and welding of materials such as aluminium and sheet steel.
The GT, which works using two-photon polymerisation (TPP), was awarded the Prism Award in the category of ‘Advanced Manufacturing’, announced at Photonics West at the start of 2014, being described at the time as the most accurate and fastest 3D laser lithography system commercially available.