Micro Structuring

A combination of nanosecond and picosecond pulses make the precision manufacture of functional surfaces also efficient.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen.

A combination of nanosecond and picosecond pulses make the precision manufacture of functional surfaces also efficient.

Moon-phase display of high-quality mechanical watches with decorative, colored carbon coating and laser structured starry sky (Saxon manufactory).
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

Moon-phase display of high-quality mechanical watches with decorative, colored carbon coating and laser structured starry sky (Saxon manufactory).

The institutes of the Fraunhofer Group for Light & Surfaces have a wide range of structuring technologies and processes to produce microstructures. In addition to classical lithographic techniques, they use laser-based microstructuring processes with nanosecond lasers, but also increasingly with picosecond and femtosecond lasers. The latter, in particular, make wide range of applications possible in different industrial areas due to the almost athermal process management.

Laser Micro Structuring

As a result of the unique process characteristics, such as the evaporation-dominated material ablation and the minimal heat input into the workpiece, micro- and nanoscale structures can be produced on virtually any surface. Especially in the field of functional surfaces for tribological, optical or biological applications, this type of structuring forms the basis for manufacturing innovative products of the future for numerous industrial branches. Through the use of special interference optics, the institutes can even produce nanostructures with dimensions below the wavelength, such structures are suitable for applications in the field of safety engineering.

Ultra-short pulse lasers with pulse durations of a few pico- or femtoseconds have great potential for use in structuring different materials with high precision, in particular metals, glass, semiconductors, biological tissue. The Fraunhofer ILT and Fraunhofer IOF institutes have developed ultra-short pulse laser systems that provide high pulse repetition rates with high power and excellent beam quality. They can be used to shorten process times but maintain high processing quality.

Thanks to their extensive and modern equipment as well as their in-depth know-how about ultra-short pulse processing, the institutes Fraunhofer ILT, Fraunhofer IOF and Fraunhofer IWS can help applied research apply laser based micro- and fine-machining. Their systems use laser beams to miniaturize functional elements in machine, plant, vehicle and equipment engineering as well as in biotechnology and medical technology.

Lithographic Micro Structuring

In addition to the laser-based microstructuring processes, the institutes also offer other technologies for the production of functional surfaces and components. For example, due to Fraunhofer IOF's existing technological base – photolithography and laser lithography, electron beam lithography and reactive ion etching – it can produce and characterize high-end micro- and nano-optical elements at the highest resolution on up to 12” substrates, even on curved surfaces.

Thin Film Structuring

Fraunhofer IST develops thin-film sensors to measure force and temperature in heavily loaded interaction areas. The sensor technology is based on the piezoresistive properties of diamond-like carbon layers (DLC). The sensor layers are applied directly to the tool or component and are patterned by means of laser or photolithography.

At Fraunhofer IPM, sensors can be produced with bulk or hotplate technology by depth structuring of a few micrometers using RIE and ICP etching systems or wet-chemical etching processes. For example, moisture, temperature and gas sensors can be integrated on a chip. Microstructured surfaces allow modulatable IR emitters, for example for micro-optical applications.

OLED Technology

Fraunhofer FEP, on the other hand, has a great deal of experience in processing organic semiconductor materials, from which organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) and OLED microdisplays are developed. The structuring of organic layers is one of the most challenging issues that Fraunhofer FEP has solved with electron beam technology at. Electron beam microstructuring makes it possible to structure the OLED emission directly in high-resolution or to locally evaporate material via a thermal input.

Your contacts at the institutes are:

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Uwe Zeitner

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF
Albert-Einstein-Str. 7
07745 Jena

Phone +49 3641 807-403

Fax +49 3641 807-603

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Dr. Udo Klotzbach

Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 83391-3252

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Marie-Luise Bauersfeld

Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM
Heidenhofstr. 8
79110 Freiburg

Phone +49 761 8857-290

Fax +49 761 8857-224

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Contact Press / Media

Dr.-Ing. Saskia  Biehl

Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST
Bienroder Weg 54 e
38108 Braunschweig

Phone +49 531 2155-604

Contact Press / Media

Dipl.-Phys. Martin Reininghaus

Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
Steinbachstr. 15
52074 Aachen

Phone +49 241 8906-627

Fax +49 241 8906-121

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr. Christoph Metzner

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden

Phone +49 351 2586-240

Fax +49 351 2586-55240