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Two-Photon Polymerization (TPP) explained

As most visitors to this page understand, 3D printing enables rapid prototyping and production of customizable products or small batch manufacturing. This technology is being capable of achieving parts with dimensional complexities that cannot be reached by traditional manufacturing techniques like injection molding. A variety of 3D-printing techniques are used by the industry. Mostly depending on what kind of part properties they require. When printing extremely small plastic parts, two photon polymerization (TPP or 2PP) can be an interesting technique.


How does two photon polymerization work?

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Image by Researchgate: two photon polymerization explained.

In the last years there has been a development in the commercialization of micro and nano 3D printing techniques like two photon polymerization. This has attracted increasing interest due to the design freedom and efficiency that 3D printing offers at the nano- or micro-scale

There are different ways to achieve this. One is by making the pixel size of an existing DLP system very small. But this is very much limiting to the print size. Another 3D printing technique names two-photon polymerization (TPP) is one of the most established technologies for printing micro- and nano-scale objects. This technology uses pulsed high-energy laser beams for locally exposing a photo-reactive resin in 3D.


Two-Photon Polymerization (TPP) explained.

The absorption of two or multiple photons by the reactive component inside the resin requires very high photon densities, the process can only take place in the focal point of the laser beam. This allows the formation of objects with very fine features in the sub-micrometer range.


Companies active in the development and commercialization of Two-Photon Polymerization techniques.

3D printing  manufacturers working on two-photon polymerization are example, from Nanoscribe GmbH, Germany; Microlight3D, France; UpNano GmbH, Austria; Multiphoton Optics GmbH, Germany; Moji-Nano Technology Ltd., China; and Femtika, Lithuania.


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