Date of this Version
Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 498
Two-photon polymerization (2PP), which is a three-dimensional micro/nano-scale additive manufacturing process, is used to fabricate component for small custom experimental packages (“targets”) to support laser-driven, high-energy-density physics research. Of particular interest is the use of 2PP to deterministically print millimeter-scale, low-density, and low atomic number (CHO) polymer matrices (“foams”). Deformation during development and drying of the foam structures remains a challenge when using certain commercial acrylic photo-resins. Acrylic resins were chosen in order to meet the low atomic number requirement for the foam; that requirement precludes the use of low-shrinkage organic/inorganic hybrid resins. Here, we compare the use of acrylic resins IP-S and IP-Dip. Infrared and Raman spectroscopy are used to quantify the extent of the polymerization during 2PP vs. UV curing. The mechanical strength of beam and foam structures is examined, particularly the degree of deformation that occurs during the development and drying processes. The magnitude of the shrinkage is quantified, and finite element analysis is used in order to simulate the resulting deformation. Capillary drying forces during development are shown to be small and are likely below the elastic limit of the foam log-pile structures. In contrast, the substantial shrinkage in IP-Dip (~5–10%) causes large shear stresses and associated plastic deformation, particularly near constrained boundaries and locations with sharp density transitions. Use of IP-S with an improved writing procedure results in a marked reduction in deformation with a minor loss of resolution.