A very special (and tiny) Christmas tree

(Nanowerk News) The team at the the L2n laboratory (Light, nanomaterials & nanotechnologies) at the University of Technology of Troyes have fabricated a very special Christmas card this year.
The structure was designed and made by optical lithography by William d'Orsonnens (PhD student at the L2n) and Ali Issa (post-doctorate fellow at the L2n).
The structure and all details are made of polymer hardened by the scanning of a focused laser beam. To give you an idea of the size, the foot of the Christmas tree is 23 micrometer long, which is roughly 2 to 3 times smaller than the thickness of a strand of hair.
On top of it, the researchers grafted polystyrene nanospheres with a diameter of 200 nanometers – i.e. 100 times smaller than the foot of the tree – which provides the red color.
Scaling down even further, the green color results from semiconductor nanocrystals with a size of 6 nanometers only, thus 30 times smaller than the nanospheres of polystyrene.
Polystyrene nanospheres attached to the tree structure. (Image: L2n lab, University of Technology of Troyes (click on image to enlarge)
The techniques to make this tree have been developed for the last few years at the L2n lab by different researchers (see references below):
Process for Functionalizing a Surface of a Solid Support with Nano- or Microparticles Safi Jradi, Ali Issa, Irene Izquierdo-Lorenzo. Brevet à paraître (2021).
One strategy for nanoparticles assembly into 1D, 2D and 3D polymer micro and nanostructures. Submitted (2021).
Hybrid plasmonic nano-emitters with controlled single quantum emitter positioning on the local excitation field. Nature Communications 11, 3414 (2020).
3D Photoluminescent Nanostructures Containing Quantum Dots Fabricated by Two-Photon Polymerization: Influence of Quantum Dots on the Spatial Resolution of Laser Writing. Advanced Materials Technologies 4, 1800522 (2018).
Wavelength-scale light concentrator made by direct 3D laser writing of polymer metamaterials. Scientific Reports 6, 33627 (2016).
Two-Color Single Hybrid Plasmonic Nanoemitters with Real Time Switchable Dominant Emission Wavelength. Nano Letters 15, 7458 (2015).
Source: L2n lab, University of Technology of Troyes
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