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Fabrication of inclined non-symmetrical periodic micro-structures using direct laser interference patterning

: Alamri, Sabri; El-Khoury, Mikhael; Aguilar Morales, Alfredo Ismael; Storm, Sebastian; Kunze, Tim; Lasagni, Andrés-Fabián

Fulltext ()

Scientific Reports 9 (2019), Art. 5455, 12 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWS ()

The direct fabrication of microstructures, having a non-symmetrical morphology with controllable inclination, presents nowadays a challenging task. Natural examples of surfaces with inclined topographies have shown to provide anisotropic functionalities, which have attracted the interest of several researchers in the last years. This work presents a microfabrication technique for producing microstructures with a determined and controllable inclination angle using two-beam Direct Laser Interference Patterning. Polyimide foils are irradiated with a 4 ns UV (266 nm) laser source producing line-like structures with a period varying from 4.6 µm to 16.5 µm. The inclinations, retrieved by tilting the sample with respect to the optical axis of the setup, are changed from 0° to 75°, introducing a well controllable and defined inclination of the structure walls. The structuring parameters (laser fluence, number of laser pulses and interference period) as well as the inclination of the microstructures are correlated with the global tilting of the sample. As a result, a determined laser fluence and number of pulses are necessary to observe a remarkable non-symmetrical morphology of the structures. In addition, the presence of structural undercuts is reported, which opens the possibility for developing new direction-dependent properties on polymeric materials. As an example, preliminary results on light diffraction are presented, showing a similar behavior as blazed diffraction gratings.