Femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining for engineering materials and catalysis research
January 2022 – December 2025
Through femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining a wide variety of materials such as ceramics (e.g. glass), hard metals (e.g. Hastelloy), and polymers can be processed with microscale resolution, offering innovation and beyond state-of-the-art research opportunities. To name a few, the planned research infrastructure would allow to tune the catalytic properties of surfaces, to enhance flow distribution, heat transfer and mass transfer in chemical reactors, to increase detection limit of photoelectrochemical sensors, to facilitate flow chemistry, to tailor-make EPR and TEM measurement cells, and to allow machine learning for hybrid additive manufacturing. Currently, the University of Antwerp lacks the necessary research infrastructure capable of processing such materials and surfaces with microscale precision. Access to femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining would yield enormous impact on ongoing and planned research both for the thirteen involved professors and ten research groups as for industry, essential to conduct research at the highest international level.