Digital microfabrication processes are non-lithographic techniques ideally capable of directly generating patterns and
structures of functional materials for the rapid prototyping of electronic, optical and sensor devices. Laser Direct-Write
is an example of digital microfabrication that offers unique advantages and capabilities. A key advantage of laser directwrite
techniques is their compatibility with a wide range of materials, surface chemistries and surface morphologies.
These processes have been demonstrated in the fabrication of a wide variety of microelectronic elements such as
interconnects, passives, antennas, sensors, power sources and embedded circuits. Recently, a novel laser direct-write
technique able to digitally microfabricate thin film-like structures has been developed at the Naval Research Laboratory.
This technique, known as Laser Decal Transfer, is capable of generating patterns with excellent lateral resolution and
thickness uniformity using high viscosity metallic nano-inks. The high degree of control in size and shape achievable has
been applied to the digital microfabrication of 3-dimensional stacked assemblies, MEMS-like structures and freestanding
interconnects. Overall, laser forward transfer is perhaps the most flexible digital microfabrication process
available in terms of materials versatility, substrate compatibility and range of speed, scale and resolution. This paper
will describe the unique advantages and capabilities of laser decal transfer, discuss its applications and explore its role in
the future of digital microfabrication.