Direct-write techniques enable computer-controlled two- and three-dimensional pattern formation in a serial fashion. Among these techniques, the versatility offered by laser-based direct-write methods is unique, given their ability to add, remove, and modify different types of materials without physical contact between a tool or nozzle and the material of interest. Laser pulses used to generate the patterns can be manipulated to control the composition, structure, and even properties of individual three-dimensional volumes of materials across length scales spanning six orders of magnitude, from nanometers to millimeters. Such resolution, combined with the ability to process complex or delicate material systems, enables laser direct-write tools to fabricate structures that are not possible to generate using other serial or parallel fabrication techniques. The goal of the articles in this issue of MRS Bulletin is to illustrate the range of materials processing capabilities, fundamental research opportunities, and commercially viable applications that can be achieved using recently developed laser direct-write techniques. We hope that the articles provide the reader with a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities that these powerful techniques offer for the fabrication of novel devices and structures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry