Title: Nanoscale additive manufacturing: coming of age
Additive manufacturing is a process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, which is usually achieved by layer upon layer approaches. The utilisation of a laser beam is one of the effective ways to achieve this process. In the case of laser additive manufacturing, the fundamental restriction is the limit of the feature size, which is determined by the so called Abbe’s law discovered by a German physicist, Ernst Abbe, in 1873. Abbe’s barrier means that the size of the features generated by a laser beam is approximately 300 nm, for example, in a visible beam. In this presentation, I will show how Abbe’s limit can be broken in the recent development of optical beam nanolithography. Therefore, the feature size by a laser beam focused by a high numerical lens can be remarkably reduced to 9 nm in a polymerisable material. This breakthrough in laser additive manufacturing will not only provide a means that the capacity of an optical disk can be as high as Petabytes, which will allow for the accelerating development of green optical data centres, but also facilitate a new horizon of ultrahigh energy density super-capacitors, nanoscale organic optoelectronic devices, nanoscale chemical reaction chips, artificial neural networks, and biomimetic systems.
Professor Gu is Distinguished Professor and Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor at RMIT University and was a Laureate Fellow of the Australian Research Council. He is an author of four standard reference books and has over 450 publications in nano/biophotonics. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science as well as the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is also an elected fellow of the AIP, the OSA, the SPIE, the InstP, and the IEEE. He was President of the International Society of Optics within Life Sciences, Vice President of the Board of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) (Chair of the ICO Prize Committee) and a Director of the Board of the Optical Society of America (Chair of the International Council). He was awarded the Einstein Professorship (Chinese Academy of Science, 2010), the W. H. (Beattie) Steel Medal of the Australian Optical Society (2011), the Ian Wark Medal and Lecture of the Australian Academy of Science (2014), the Boas Medal of the AIP (2015) and the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (2016). Professor Gu was elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2017.