With respect to novel, targeted surface functionalities, an efficient generation of nano- and micrometer sized structures is the greatest challenge. Established manufacturing methods such as electron beam lithography or direct laser inscription are either too cost and time consuming or only allow low structure resolution. The direct laser interference patterning (DLIP) technology developed at Fraunhofer IWS, however, offers a flexible industrial tool for the generation of targeted surface topographies for numerous applications.
In DLIP, a coherent laser beam is split into two or more sub-beams, which are superposed on the materials surface. Defined structures can be applied to components due to interference (that is a periodic modulation of laser intensity) resulting from superposition. Fraunhofer IWS scientists are able to fabricate constant structure geometries on large areas at rates of up to nearly 1 m2 min-1 by means of the DLIP technology. However, the generation of variable structure geometries at high process speeds makes it necessary to develop advanced solutions.
The Fraunhofer IWS has succeeded for the first time in developing a structuring procedure able to fabricate these variable structures in short process times. The solution arises from combining a DLIP processing head with a galvanometer scanner. The system allows for a generation of micrometer structure in a range between 2 µm and 5 µm in an almost infinitely manner. Examples include product protection holograms patterned on-the-fly directly on the surfaces of metals, polymers, ceramics and coatings.
The DLIP galvanometer scanning system enables a significant multiplication of the process speed due to the low inertia. Clearly shorter process times, higher flexibilities and thus significant gains of competiveness are the defined advantages of this development – a revolution in the field of surface functionalization!
Our experts are looking forward to welcoming you at the Fraunhofer IWS Dresden or at the tradeshow LASER World of PHOTONICS, hall A2, booth A2.431 (Fraunhofer joint booth).