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Model of diffusion-assisted direct laser writing by means of nanopolymerization in the presence of radical quencher
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Diffusion-assisted direct laser writing (DA-DLW) by multiphoton polymerization has been recently shown to be one of the most promising methods for the high-resolution 3D nanofabrication [I. Sakellari, et al., ACS Nano 6, 2302 (2012)]. The improvement of the writing spatial resolution has been observed under certain conditions when the mobile radical quencher (polymerization inhibitor) is added to the photosensitive composition. In this work, we present a theoretical study of this method, focusing on the resolution capabilities and optimal writing parameters. The laser beam absorption in the polymerizable composition causes the localized depletion of the quencher molecules. If the quencher depletion is balanced by its diffusion from the outside of the focal volume, the quasi-stationary non-equillibrium concentration spatial profile with zero minimum can be obtained. The polymer is then effectively formed only in the domain where the quencher is depleted. The spatially-distributed quencher, in this case, has the effect similar to that of the vortex beam in STimulated Emission Microscopy (STED).
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