Femtosecond Projection NanoPrinter​

Principal Investigator

Professor Shih-Chi CHEN


Department of Mechanical Automation Engineering

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

From 2009 to 2011, Shih-Chi CHEN was a Senior Scientist at Nano Terra, Inc., a start-up company founded by Professor George Whitesides at Harvard University, to develop precision instruments for novel nanofabrication processes.


Femtosecond Projection NanoPrinter​

This Femtosecond Projection NanoPrinter is developed by CPII’s Astra Optics Limited, based on a patented femtosecond light sheet technology invented at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The team has received the 2023 TSSSU award and is actively developing prototypes, working with customers, and fund-raising to scale up in the next 1-2 years.

Directly fabricate 20+ different materials

Print at a rate of 100-1000 mm3/hour

This is a record-breaking multi-material nanofabrication platform that can fabricate arbitrarily complex 3D structures down to a resolution of 30 nm with 20+ materials (including alloys, oxides, salts, semiconductors, polymers, crystals, dyes, biomaterials, etc).

Revolutionary nanoscale 3D printing platform

The Femtosecond Projection NanoPrinter is enabled by a unique optical engine, consisting of a digital micromirror device and regenerative laser amplifier. By exploiting the phenomenon of spatial and temporal focusing, a very thin, yet programmable femtosecond light sheet is generated for fast laser patterning. By synchronizing the light sheet and a precision XYZ stage, the system can print arbitrarily complex 3D structures at sub-diffraction limit resolution. The nanofabrication platform achieves a high throughput of 100-1000 mm3 per hour and reduces printing costs by 90%. It has been published in the Science Magazine (2019 & 2022) and holds multiple U.S. patents.

The invention of the Femtosecond Projection NanoPrinter has been awarded the Silver Medal at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in recognition of his contribution to the city’s innovation ecosystem.