A three-dimensional item is created using the additive manufacturing process, which involves adding new layers of construction material over the top of the previously deposited ones. Commercially available 3D printers and 3D printing materials, such as transparent media with excellent optical quality and 3D printed optics, have recently developed rapidly. Numerous areas of science and technology, such as biology, medicine, metamaterials research, robotics, and micro-optics, are now open to new possibilities due to these developments.
Researchers have created tiny lenses (with dimensions as small as a tenth of the diameter of a human hair) that are simple to produce using a laser 3D printing method on top of various materials, including delicate novel 2-D graphene-like materials. The 3D printed optics improve light extraction from semiconductor sample emitters and reshape the light’s released portion into an ultra-narrow beam.
This characteristic makes it unnecessary to include a large microscope objective in the experimental setup when conducting optical measurements of single nanometer-sized light emitters (like quantum dots), which was previously impossible to avoid.
A typical microscope objective used in this study is about the size of a human handbreadth, weighs up to one pound (half a kilogram), and needs to be positioned just a few millimeters away from the analysis sample.
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