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Welcome to the Femtoprint portal!


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FEMTOPRINT is a European project supported under the Framework Programme Seven of the European Commission.

FEMTOPRINT is to develop a printer for microsystems with nano-scale features fabricated out of glass. Our ultimate goal is to provide a large pool of users from industry, research and universities with the capability of producing their own micro-systems, in a rapid-manner without the need for expensive infrastructures and specific expertise. Recent researches have shown that one can form three-dimensional patterns in glass material using low-power femtosecond laser beam. This simple process opens interesting new opportunities for a broad variety of microsystems with feature sizes down to the nano-scale. These patterns can be used to form integrated optics components or be ‘developed’ by chemically etching to form three-dimensional structures like fluidic channels and micro-mechanical components. Worth noticing, sub-micron resolution can be achieved and sub-pattern smaller than the laser wavelength can be formed. Thanks to the low-energy required to pattern the glass, femtosecond laser consisting simply of an oscillator are sufficient to produce such micro- and nano- systems.


Fig. The Femtoprint logo written in the bulk of a fused silica substrate. The logo is 2mm wide and is made with 'nanogratings' produced by the femtosecond laser. It is seen under different illumination and polarization conditions. The false color image shows that multiple information can be encoded.

These systems are nowadays table-top and cost a fraction of conventional clean-room equipments. It is highly foreseeable that within 3 to 5 years such laser systems will fit in a shoe-box. The project specific objectives are:

1/ Develop a femtosecond laser suitable for glass micro-/nano- manufacturing that fits in a shoe-box

2/ Integrate the laser in a machine similar to a printer that can position and manipulate glass sheets of various thicknesses

3/ Demonstrate the use of the printer to fabricate a variety of micro-/nano-systems with optical, mechanical and fluid-handling capabilities. A clear and measurable outcome of Femtoprint will be to be in a situation to commercialize the ‘femtoprinter’ through the setting-up of a consortium spin-off. The potential economical impact is large and is expected in various industrial sectors.

Download here a general flyer about Femtoprint (from the EFFRA - European Factory of the Future Research Association).

Download here a two-slide summary of the main achievement of Femtoprint to date.

More information about the research...

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 August 2013 11:26

3rd place at AKL '14 / Laser Innovation Award

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 Laser Technology Congress 2014  web

The Innovation Award Laser Technology is a European research prize awarded every two years by the Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V. and the European Laser Institute ELI. Among 23 participants, the European team FEMTOPRINT got the 3rd place with the project “Femtoprint: A femtosecond laser printer for three-dimensional micro- and nano-manufacturing of glass” led by Dr. Yves Bellouard. Femtoprint was listed in the top 3 because its innovation is of interest to all industrial sectors that make use of micro-structured glass materials.

Congratulations to the winners!



Femtoprint awarded Best Project Finalist Award !


enf award

Femtoprint has been awarded with the Best Project Finalist Award at the EuroNanoForum in Dublin, Ireland, June 2013. 

The Femtoprint project was presented during an award diner gala ceremony, where more than 1.500 participants could vote on their favourite project. Femtoprint is a project aimed at developing a printer for microsystems with nano-scale features fabricated out of glass. Its ultimate goal is to provide a large pool of users, from industry research and universities with the capability of producing their own micro-systems, in a rapid-manner without the need for expensive infrastructure and specific expertise.



Meet the first Femtoprinter!


The Femtoprint team is proud to have demonstrated a first fully functional prototype of the Femtoprinter at one of the world premier Photonics trade show in San Francisco last February. This prototype will soon be available for commercialization (April-May 2013). If you are interested in more technical details about this machine, just send us a message on this page. 

An overview of the machine capabilities and potential applications are described in this paper.

femtoprinter unit 1

First prototype of the Femtoprinter.


First demonstration of high density recording in fused silica that could last forever: the 'Superman Memory'

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5D Optical Memory

The team of Professor Peter Kazansky at the University of Southampton as part of the Femtoprint project has successfully demonstrated the recording of a full document inside a glass substrate. The technique is based on a process called '5D memory' that uses self-organized nanogratings observed in femtosecond laser affected zones to record five level of information.Using this method, very large amount of information can be stored in a much reduced volume. As a comparison, with this technique 360 TB could fit in a volume equivalent to a DVD.

The work was presented in the highly selective post-deadline session of the OSA CLEO America 2013 conference and received considerable attention around the world, including in national newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Independant or The Huffington Post. 

The paper presented can be downloaded here.



Femtoprint is now commercially available...


The Femtoprint European project team is proud to announce that the outcome of the project - the femtoprinter - is now commercialized by the Femtoprint project's spin-off.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 08:11

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