Micro and Nanostructuring of Polymers by Femtosecond Laser Pulses

Title: Micro and Nanostructuring of Polymers by Femtosecond Laser Pulses
Authors: Alshehri, Ali
Date: 2016
Abstract: Micro/Nanostructuring of polymers by femtosecond pulses is of extreme importance because it drives applications in photonics and biomedicine. A femtosecond pulse, with an intensity of ∼ 10^13 W/cm^2, is capable of causing an optical breakdown and inducing permanent modification in the material. With such high intensity, and considering the fact that polymers possess high band gaps, the interaction nature is completely nonlinear, and the material can be modified locally on the surface and in bulk. The irradiated regions exhibit fluorescence, and they display new wetting properties as a consequence of the optical breakdown of a material. The optical breakdown can be investigated by studying the nonlinear absorption. In this thesis, we discuss the nonlinear absorption of fs-laser pulses inside polymers using transmission measurements. We show a step– function–like behaviour of the transmission, dropping abruptly to ∼ 20% at the optical breakdown threshold with a ∼ 40 % reduction in the band gap. Utilizing spectroscopy, we show that the laser-modified regions contain randomly distributed nanoclusters. The presence of localized nanoclusters is responsible for exhibiting fluorescence, within ∼ 10 µm3 for a single pulse. This feature was exploited to demonstrate high-density data storage in Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) without any special material preparation. We demonstrate up to 20 layers of embedded data that can be stored in a standard 120 mm disc. Storage capacity of 0.2 TBytes/disc can be achieved by adjusting read laser parameters. Besides the fluorescence capability induced in the bulk of polymers, the hydrophilicity shown by the fs–laser modified surface is utilized to study selective cell growth on the micro-structured Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface. We show that the C2C12 cells and rabbit anti-mouse protein attach preferentially to the modified regions when the surface is modified with low pulse energies. However, in the high pulse energy regime, the laser-modified regions exhibit superhydrophobicity inhibiting cell adhesion.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35356
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -