Wavelength-optimized two-photon polymerization using initiators based on multipolar aminostyryl-1,3,5-triazines

Two-photon induced polymerization (2PP) based 3D printing is a powerful microfabrication tool. Specialized two-photon initiators (2PIs) are critical components of the employed photosensitive polymerizable formulations. This work investigates the cooperative enhancement of two-photon absorption cross sections (σ2PA) in a series of 1,3,5-triazine-derivatives bearing 1-3 aminostyryl-donor arms, creating dipolar, quadrupolar and octupolar push-pull systems. The multipolar 2PIs were successfully prepared and characterized, σ2PA were determined using z-scan at 800 nm as well as spectrally resolved two-photon excited fluorescence measurements, and the results were compared to high-level ab initio computations. Modern tunable femtosecond lasers allow 2PP-processing at optimum wavelengths tailored to the absorption behavior of the 2PI. 2PP structuring tests revealed that while performance at 800 nm is similar, at their respective σ2PA-maxima the octupolar triazine-derivative outperforms a well-established ketone-based quadrupolar reference 2PI, with significantly lower fabrication threshold at exceedingly high writing speeds up to 200 mm/s and a broader window for ideal processing parameters.