ORLANDO, FL, August 13, 2012 — For the first time, the Journal of Laser Applications (JLA) is offering its special edition on recent cutting-edge research in laser-based nanoprocessing free for viewing and download.

The issue, “Generation of Sub-100 nm Structures by Nonlinear Laser-Material Integration,” is a midterm progress report on a six-year study initiated in 2008 by the German Research Foundation (DFG). JLA, the official journal of the Laser Institute of America, is offering this open-access edition to all viewers at http://jla.aip.org/resource/1/jlapen/v24/i4.

“Nanoprocessing is one of the most interesting directions in laser materials processing,” says JLA editor Dr. Andreas Ostendorf, a professor at Ruhr-University Bochum near Cologne, Germany. “Many physical, chemical, biological and technical effects are strongly influenced on the nanoscale. The interaction of living cells with their environment is determined by, among other things, the nanostructures at which they adhere. The propagation of light can be controlled on the nanoscale, and surface wetting is driven by structures below the micrometer range.”

As photolithography reaches the diffraction limit, laser processing comes into play, Ostendorf says. He is part of a team coordinating the DFG investigation into how the diffraction limit could be overcome; 16 cooperative projects are being funded in this study.

Highlights of the issue’s topics and their contributors include:

• Control of ionization rates by using temporally asymmetrically shaped fs pulses for nanostructuring in fused silica (University Kassel)

• Optical trap assisted laser nanostructuring in the near-field of microparticles (University Erlangen)

• Comparison of femtosecond laser-induced high-frequency and low-frequency periodic surface structures in metals, semiconductors and dielectric materials (Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing, Berlin)

• Laser-assisted fabrication of carbon nanostructures, including two-dimensional graphene, one-dimensional carbon nanotubes and zero-dimensional carbon nano-onions (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

• Formation of self-organized nanogratings by in-volume processing of transparent materials (University of Jena)

• Nanoablation by optical near fields in close vicinity to plasmonic nanoscale objects (University of Konstanz)

• Femtosecond laser-welded nanostructures and plasmonic devices (University of Waterloo)

“In the past, engineers have tried to push the resolution in microprocessing toward the µm limit,” Ostendorf writes in the edition’s introductory remarks. “Classical wave optics, with its diffraction limit, was regarded as the bottom line beyond which only radically new phenomena allow defined structuring, e.g., by bottom-up technologies. Over the last decade, however, many research groups have demonstrated that by using field enhancement and near-field effects as well as nonlinear laser-material interaction, the minimum structure sizes can be driven down about 1 order of magnitude. The key was to adjust the material properties exactly to the laser parameters or vice versa.”

The special September edition, co-edited by Ostendorf with Drs. Karsten Koenig of Saarland University and Yongfeng Lu of the University of Nebraska, “demonstrates the versatile methods such as near infrared femtosecond laser exposure to generate structures even below 100 nm, i.e., far below the diffraction limit.”

Further conveying the importance of such research will be the Nanomanufacturing Conference co-chaired by Dr. Lu at ICALEO 2012 in Anaheim in September.

“In order for the journal to serve its purpose as a place for people to present refereed papers and for us to get the message out about material processing, we continually strive to provide must-read content to make the journal as relevant to our audience as possible,” noted LIA Executive Director Peter Baker. LIA President Dr. Reinhart Poprawe serves as editor-in-chief of the quarterly publication, which is published in partnership with the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

The Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA) is the official journal of the Laser Institute of America and serves as the major international forum for exchanging ideas and information in disciplines that apply laser technology. Internationally known editors, reviewers and columnists deliver the latest results of their research worldwide, dealing with the diverse, practical applications of laser technology.  This special issue highlighting Revolutionary Nanoprocessing Research is available for open-access to all viewers. Visit http://jla.aip.org/resource/1/jlapen/v24/i4 and click on “Browse Special Issue”.

Laser Institute of America (LIA), founded in 1968, is the professional society for laser applications and safety. Our mission is to foster lasers, laser applications and laser safety worldwide. www.lia.org