Title: From laser micromachining to nanomachining: considerations

Authors: Malcolm Gower

Addresses: Nanophoton Technologies, Somenos, Park Lane, Long Hanborough, Oxford, OX29 8JU, UK

Abstract: The critical parameters that currently limit the feature sizes which are produced by lasers when micromachining materials are considered in the context of trying to extend them into the nano-regime. Fabricating structures with dimensions smaller than 100 nm by ultraviolet laser beams will require sub-wavelength focusing/imaging techniques that push lateral beam sizes to the very limits placed by light diffraction. A variety of conventional optical approaches as well as |optical tricks| are presented for constricting laser beams to the nano-sized dimensions required for nanomachining applications. The use of superlenses, which can potentially confine laser beams to even smaller sizes than the limits set by optical diffraction, is also discussed.

Keywords: lasers; laser micromachining; laser nanomachining; optical resolution; sub-wavelength imaging; diffraction-limit; metamaterials; superlenses; nanotechnology; nanomanufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2008.020353

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2008 Vol.7 No.2/3, pp.142 - 157

Published online: 18 Sep 2008 *

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