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Sci Adv. 2019 Feb 8;5(2):eaau9160. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau9160. eCollection 2019 Feb.

Multimaterial 3D laser microprinting using an integrated microfluidic system.

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Institute of Nanotechnology (INT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.
Institute of Applied Physics (APH), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.
Carl Zeiss AG, Carl Zeiss Promenade 10, 07745 Jena, Germany.
Macromolecular Architectures, Institute of Technical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.
School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia.


Three-dimensional (3D) laser micro- and nanoprinting has become a versatile, reliable, and commercially available technology for the preparation of complex 3D architectures for diverse applications. However, the vast majority of structures published so far have been composed of only a single constituent material. Here, we present a system based on a microfluidic chamber integrated into a state-of-the-art laser lithography apparatus. This system is scalable in terms of the number of materials and eliminates the need to go back and forth between the lithography instrument and the chemistry room numerous times, with tedious realignment steps in between. As an application, we present 3D deterministic microstructured security features requiring seven different liquids: a nonfluorescent photoresist as backbone, two photoresists containing different fluorescent quantum dots, two photoresists with different fluorescent dyes, and two developers. Our integrated microfluidic 3D printing system opens the door to truly multimaterial 3D additive manufacturing on the micro- and nanoscale.

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