We study fundamental laser-material interactions for processing and imaging applications.
Key examples of our work in this area include the research and development of optical trap assisted direct-write nanopatterning (OTAN), blister-actuated laser induced forward transfer (LIFT), and the tunable acoustic gradient index of refraction (TAG) lens for high-speed varifocal imaging and materials processing.
The OTAN technique, developed by our group, brings laser direct-write a step smaller. This probe-based near field technique uses a microlens that is optically trapped above the substrate to create arbitrary sub-wavelength features on a surface. The key features include easy parallelization and the ability to process rough substrates.
LIFT is a versatile direct-write technique enabling high-resolution printing from a variety of functional materials. Our research focuses on blister-actuated LIFT, where a polymer layer absorbs the laser and deforms plastically to initiate transfer. We investigate the fundamental transfer mechanisms through time-resolved imaging and CFD modeling, and explore potential avenues for optimization.
The tunable acoustic gradient index of refraction lens (or TAG lens) is an adaptive optics device filled with a fluid and driven by an acoustic wave. The very fast refractive index change induced results in a lens with tunable focal length at kHz rates, with applications in imaging and beam shaping.
MAPLE is a powerful technique for the deposition of organic materials such as polymers and biomaterials. With its gentle deposition mechanism and precise control of laser pulse energy, MAPLE allows the development of structured polymers with extremely high and/or low potential energy, ultra-stable light nanocomposites, and materials for renewable energy conversion.