Jens Bauer, Anna Guell Izard, Yunfei Zhang, Tommaso Baldacchini, Lorenzo Valdevit
Opt Express, 2020 vol. 28 (14) pp. 20362-20371
Publication year: 2020

Abstract

Two-photon polymerization direct laser writing (TPP-DLW) is one of the most versatile technologies to additively manufacture complex parts with nanoscale resolution. However, the wide range of mechanical properties that results from the chosen combination of multiple process parameters imposes an obstacle to its widespread use. Here we introduce a thermal post-curing route as an effective and simple method to increase the mechanical properties of acrylate-based TPP-DLW-derived parts by 20-250% and to largely eliminate the characteristic coupling of processing parameters, material properties and part functionality. We identify the underlying mechanism of the property enhancement as a self-initiated thermal curing reaction, which robustly facilitates the high property reproducibility that is essential for any application of TPP-DLW.