We have recently developed a simple fabrication technique, called low one-photon absorption (LOPA) direct laser writing (DLW), to realize multi-dimensional and multi-functional polymer-based photonic submicrostructures. This technique employs a continuous-wave laser at 532 nm-wavelength with only few milliwatts and a simple optical setup, allowing to decrease the cost of the fabrication system by a factor of ten as compared to a commercial DLW system. In this report, we present various photonic structures, such as 2D and 3D micro- resonators, photonic and magnetic submicrostructures, and nonlinear optical structures fabricated by this LOPA- based DLW method. We also discuss about potential applications of those fabricated multi-dimensional and multi-functional photonic submicrostructures in opto-electronics, bio, as well as in opto-mechanics.
We have precisely positioned and embedded a single gold nanoparticle (Au NP) into a desired polymeric photonic structure (PS) using a simple and low-cost technique called low one-photon absorption direct laser writing (LOPA DLW), with a two-step process: identification and fabrication. First, the position of the Au NP was identified with a precision of 20 nm by using DLW technique with ultralow excitation laser power (μW). This power did not induce the polymerization of the photoresist (SU8) due to its low absorption at the excitation wavelength (532 nm). Then, the structure containing the NP was fabricated by using the same DLW system with high excitation power (mW). Different 2D photonic structures have been fabricated, which contain a single Au NP at desired position. In particular, we obtained a microsphere instead of a micropillar at the position of the Au NP. The formation of such microsphere was explained by the thermal effect of the Au NP at the wavelength of 532 nm, which induced thermal polymerization of surrounding photoresist. The effect of the post-exposure bake on the quality of structures was taken into account, revealing a more efficient fabrication way by exploiting the local thermal effect of the laser. We studied further the influence of the NP size on the NP/PS coupling by investigating the fabrication and fluorescence measurement of Au NPs of different sizes: 10, 30, 50, 80, and 100 nm. The photon collection enhancements in each case were 12.9 ± 2.5, 12.6 ± 5.6, 3.9 ± 2.7, 5.9 ± 4.4, and
6.6 ± 5.1 times, respectively. The gain in fluorescence could reach up to 36.6 times for 10-nm gold NPs.
Polymer materials offer unique opportunities in nanophotonics and nanobiosystems since both top-down and bottom-up strategies can be pursued and combined towards the nanoscale. Besides, polymer materials can be, with simple methods, functionalized with nonlinear optical or fluorescent materials (organic, inorganic, or metal). The ensemble can be optically structured in a flexible way to obtain a polymer-based photonic nanostructure (host) containing active materials (guest), which may provide an enhancement of the guest optical response, leading to attractive applications. We have developed two important fabrication techniques, namely interference and one-photon absorption direct laser writing, which present different advantages and allow both to obtain desired micro and nanometric 2D and 3D structures. These polymer-based structures are promising for many potential applications, for example, laser, nonlinear optics, and plasmonics.