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Journal Article

Creation of 3D microsculptures in PMMA by multiple angle proton irradiation

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Andrea, T., Rothermel, M., Reinert, T., Koal, T., & Butz, T. (2011). Creation of 3D microsculptures in PMMA by multiple angle proton irradiation. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 269(20), 2431-2434. doi:10.1142/S0129083512400244.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-CE0E-6
In recent years the technique of proton beam writing has established itself as a versatile method for the creation of microstructures in resist materials. While these structures can be almost arbitrary in two dimensions, the creation of genuine 3D structures remains a challenge.

At the LIPSION accelerator facility a new approach has been developed which combines aspects of ion beam tomography, so far solely an analysis method, with proton beam writing. Key element is the targeted irradiation from multiple angles in order to obtain a much broader range of 3D microstructures than has hitherto been possible.

PMMA columns with a diameter of ∼90 μm were used as raw material and placed in an upright position on top of a rotational axis. Using 2.25 MeV protons patterns corresponding to the silhouettes of the desired structures were written from two or more directions. In a subsequent step of chemical etching irradiated portions were dissolved, leaving behind the finished 3D sculpture.

Various objects have been created. For the demonstration of the method a 70 μm high model of the Eiffel tower has been sculpted by irradiation from two angles. Using irradiation from three angles a 40 μm wide screw with right-handed thread could be crafted which might find applications in micromachining. Also, a cage structure with a pore size of ca. 20 μm was written with the intention to use it as a scaffold for the growth of biological cells.