8 October 2018 Next-generation 3D printing of glass: the emergence of enabling materials
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3D printing has changed the way we make things. However, high-resolution 3D printing like microstereolithography is mainly done using polymeric (mostly acrylic or epoxy based) resins. High purity glasses, like fused silica glass, are the materials of choice whenever materials with a high chemical and thermal resistance combined with an outstanding optical transparency are required. However, fused silica glass is notoriously difficult to structure on the microscale requiring hazardous etching processes. We have therefore developed novel silica nanocomposites which can be 3D printed using stereolithography and microstereolithography. The resulting polymeric nanocomposites are turned into fused silica glass via thermal debinding and sintering. Using microstereolithography features with tens of microns resolution and surfaces with a roughness of a few nanometers can be printed. We further demonstrate that these nanocomposites can be used as a negative photoresist in lithography and grayscale lithography applications.
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F. Kotz, K. Arnold, P. Risch, and B. E. Rapp "Next-generation 3D printing of glass: the emergence of enabling materials", Proc. SPIE 10804, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Micro- and Nanosystems in Security and Defence, 108040I (8 October 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2323095; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2323095

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