ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0412.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: Additive-Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Glass-Ceramics, Nanoscale, Laser 3D lithography, SZ2080, Cristobalite, Zirconia, Nanocomposites, Calcination
Online: 20 September 2018 (13:52:10 CEST)
Fabrication of a true-3D inorganic ceramic with resolution down to nanoscale using sol-gel resist precursor is demonstrated. The method has an unrestricted free-form capability, control of the fill-factor, and high fabrication throughput. A systematic study of the proposed approach based on ultrafast laser 3D lithography of organic-inorganic hybrid sol-gel resin followed by a heat treatment enabled formation of inorganic amorphous and crystalline composites guided by the composition of the initial resin. The achieved resolution of 100 nm was obtained for 3D patterns of complex free-form architectures. Fabrication throughput of 50×103 voxels/s is achieved; voxel - a single volume element was recorded by a single pulse exposure. After a subsequent thermal treatment, ceramic phase was formed depending on the temperature and duration of the heat treatment as validated by Raman micro-spectroscopy. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed a gradual emergence of the crystalline phases at higher temperatures with a signature of cristobalite SiO2, a high-temperature polymorph. Also, the tetragonal ZrO2 phase known for its high fracture strength was observed. This 3D nano-sintering technique is scalable from nano- to millimeter dimensions and opens a conceptually novel route for optical 3D nano-printing of various crystalline inorganic materials defined by an initial composition for diverse applications for microdevices in harsh physical and chemical environments and high temperatures.