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Micro- and sub-microstructuring and characterisation of technical surfaces by means of laser direct writing including a novel approach for laser beam profiling

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posted on 12.05.2011, 07:51 by Hauke Buse
Within recent years, numerous fields of engineering, like mechanics, optics and electronics, have been influenced and revolutionised by the technique of microand nano-structuring. For example, special optical elements for beam shaping, surface structures for the reduction of friction or modern "lab on chip" devices have been produced. Within this thesis a universal system has been developed facilitating the production of such structured surfaces with dimensions down to 500 nm. This system is not only capable of structuring surfaces by means of lithographic processes; it further allows the inspection of surfaces by scanning their topography. To realise such a system, two different technologies have been evaluated: Scanning Near-field Optical Lithography (SNOL), a very sophisticated technique which uses a thin fibre tip to expose a photo resist-covered surface, and confocal scanning technology. Here, the confocal scanning is accomplished using an adapted optical component, the optical pickup unit (OPU), from a gaming console, which turned out to be the most suitable and cost-efficient solution for the realisation of this system. Several test series have been carried out during this work, to verify the performance of the confocal system, both to structure photo resist surfaces and to characterise unknown surfaces. This present work will show the ability of the developed system to produce structures down to the sub-micron range and to characterise unknown surfaces with sub- micron precision. Various patterns have been written into photo resistcoated substrates to structure their surface. Beginning with diffractive optical elements (DOE) for beam shaping, followed by Dammann gratings for twodimensional beam shaping and optical gratings for light guidance as well as producing technical surfaces imitating the properties of sharkskin or simple micromechanical structures, the developed confocal system has shown itself to be flexible and widely-applicable. IV During the development of the confocal system, a strong need for a beam profiling system analysing the light beam diverging from the OPU, was recognised. Due to the fact that no commercially available system was capable of characterising beam sizes within the range of the diffraction limit, a novel method for beam profiling was invented. This method makes use of the fibre tips already applied within the SNOL system, producing tomographical scans of the beam spot.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Hauke Buse

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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