Two and three dimensional structures with micron and submicron resolution have been achieved in commercial resists,
polymeric materials and sol-gel materials by several lithographic techniques. In this context, silicon-based sol-gel
materials are particularly interesting because of their versatility, chemical and thermal stability, amount of embeddable
active compounds. Compared with other micro- and nano-fabrication schemes, the Two Photon Induced Polymerization
is unique in its 3D processing capability. The photopolymerization is performed with laser beam in the near-IR region,
where samples show less absorption and less scattering, giving rise to a deeper penetration of the light. The use of
ultrashort laser pulses allows the starting of nonlinear processes like multiphoton absorption at relatively low average
power without thermally damaging the samples.
In this work we report results on the photopolymerization process in hybrid organic-inorganic films based
photopolymerizable methacrylate-containing Si-nanobuilding blocks. Films, obtained through sol-gel synthesis, are
doped with a photo-initiator allowing a radical polymerization of methacrylic groups. The photo-initiator is activated by
femtosecond laser source, at different input energies. The development of the unexposed regions is performed with a
suitable solvent and the photopolymerized structures are characterized by microscopy techniques.