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Optical Vortex Laser Printing Technique Achieves Micrometer-Scale Accuracy

Scientists at Osaka Metropolitan University have achieved precision printing with an innovative optical vortex laser-based technique, allowing precise placement of minuscule droplets with micrometer-scale accuracy.

Optical Vortex Laser Printing Technique Achieves Micrometer-Scale Accuracy

A set of 33 droplets fabricated to create “OMU” using the optical vortex laser-induced printing technique. The novel technique precisely deposited the droplets with no satellite droplets produced. Image Credit: Ken-ichi Yuyama, Osaka Metropolitan University.

Their innovative optical vortex laser-based technique enables the precise placement of minuscule droplets with micrometer-scale accuracy.

Inkjet technology is a widely recognized printing method that expels microdroplets from a nozzle onto a surface. However, nozzle clogging is a common issue when dealing with viscous and high-density ink droplets, prompting the exploration of more advanced printing technologies.

A research team led by Dr. Ken-ichi Yuyama, a lecturer at the Graduate School of Science at Osaka Metropolitan University, has succeeded in printing uniformly sized droplets with a diameter of approximately 100 µm.

Remarkably, they achieved this using a liquid film of fluorescent ink, which is roughly 100 times more viscous than water. Their success was attributed to irradiating the ink film with an optical vortex, resulting in prints with exceptional positional accuracy at the micrometer scale.

Using a special laser beam known as an optical vortex, we have achieved stable printing of high-viscosity liquids. This printing technique allows for the fabrication of microdroplet laser arrays and the micropatterning of conductive nanoinks, as well as bioinks for cell scaffolds, leading to the establishment of next-generation printed photonic or electronic devices.

Dr. Ken-ichi Yuyama, Lecturer, Graduate School of Science, Osaka Metropolitan University

The research findings have been published in ACS Photonics.

The authors would like to acknowledge the support they received in the form of KAKENHI grants-in-aid under grant numbers JP22H05131, JP18H03884, JP20K05242, JP22H05131, JP22H05138, JP22K18981, JP23H00270, and JP23H04600 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

They also received funding from the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology program under grant number JPMJCR1903, which is administered by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

Journal Reference:

Yuyama, K.‐i., et al. (2023). Fabrication of an Array of Hemispherical Microlasers Using Optical Vortex Laser-Induced Forward Transfer. ACS Photonics.

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