Auyeung, R.C.Y., Kim, H., Charipar, N.A. et al. Appl. Phys. A (2011) 102: 21. doi:10.1007/s00339-010-6054-9
We report the first demonstration of laser forward transfer using a real-time reconfigurable mask based on a spatial light modulator. The ability to dynamically change the projected beam shape and size of a coherent light source, in this case a 355-nm pulsed UV laser, represents a significant technological advancement in laser direct-write processing. The application of laser transfer techniques with adaptive control of the laser beam pattern is unique and represents a paradigm shift in non-lithographic processing. This work describes how the size and shape of an incident laser beam can be dynamically controlled in real time with the use of a digital micromirror device (DMD), resulting in laser-printed functional nanomaterials with geometries identical to those of the projected beam. For applications requiring additive non-lithographic techniques, this novel combination, which relies on the laser forward transfer of variable, structured voxels, represents a dramatic improvement in the capabilities and throughput of laser direct-write processes.