Laser Helps Produce and Power Microtools
A team of scientists at Nagoya University in Japan has reported the fabrication of an optically driven microneedle and microtweezers that are suitable for use in aqueous environments. The team suggests that the microtools may find a place in such nanotechnology applications as performing surgery on living cells and analyzing single molecules.
In the Jan. 6 issue of Applied Physics Letters, the scientists describe how they produced the devices by two-photon microstereolithography in a photocurable resin. They employed the same near-IR Ti:sapphire laser used in the process to drive the machines by optical trapping. In a demonstration of the microneedle, which features a 250-nm-diameter tip, they manipulated and pricked a mote of dust without damaging the device.
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