The Laser-Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) group is led by Prof. Rob Eason. The group's interests span the complete range of the LIFT technique from fundamental studies to applications driven device development.
LIFT involves the pixellated transfer of material from a thin film coated onto the rear side of a transparent support substrate. Transfer is induced by focussing one or more laser pulses onto the support-film interface, where heating and phase change of the film provide the propulsion to propel material to a receiving substrate placed nearby. The technique is particularly interesting due to its simplicity and versatility for micropatterning of a range of materials onto unconventional substrates and geometries.
The group is very active in a number of areas relating to LIFT. We collaborate with groups both within the university (in the ORC, Electronics and Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Maths), and across Europe (in Belfast, Athens, and Switzerland). Our work is primarily based in the ORC's FAST lab facility at the moment, investigating what is achievable with LIFT using femtosecond duration pulses. With the arrival of a nanosecond-pulsed excimer laser in Autumn 2009, the research focus will expand to include nanosecond vs. femtosecond LIFT comparative studies and an increased focus on real-world devices in collaboration with local industrial partners.