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The Microfabrication laboratory explores traditional top-down microfabrication techniques and non-traditional based on laser direct writing processes to support the activities of other areas.

For example, microfluidics chips are produced to implement biosensors and micro and nanostructures. Bragg gratings are made by laser direct writing to implement new sensing heads that will lead to the development of better and more reliable sensing heads.

Research Areas

Research Areas

•    Three-dimensional direct inscription of waveguides and complex integrated devices;
•    Fabrication of Bragg gratings by point-by-point methods (first order structures);
•    Fabrication of microfluidic devices using FLICE techniques;
•    Fabrication of optofluidic devices for sensing applications;
•    Micromachining of materials.



Femtosecond laser writing and integrated device characterisation

The central piece of this laser is a Satsuma laser with a harmonics generation module (1030, 515 and 346 nm, 220 fs, 12 W average power at fundamental wavelength, rep. rate up to 2 MHz) which is coupled to two fabrication apparatus for laser direct writing: one devoted to optical fibre processing and another for planar substrates laser writing.

3D laser direct writing unit for planar substrates

This system is composed of four main blocks: power control, beam expansion and polarisation control, writing head, imaging and sample positioning. The X-Y movement is ensured by two Aerotech ABL1000 stages while the writing lens is mounted in a PI piezoelectric z-stage with a travel length of 400 m. The system is controlled with  software that has been internally developed.

Laser writing system for Bragg gratings in optical fibres

The system for fibre processing is based on a linear Aerotech ABL1000 stage where the fibre is mounted and has the same blocks of the system for planar formats. The system is completely controlled using LabVIEW-written software.

Integrated optical device characterisation set-up

This system is based on the MDE881 - Elliot Gold™ Series Professional Workstation multiaxis positioning system for fibre-device coupling with a piezo-control DALi unit with automatic alignment features. The system has multiple wavelengths (1550 tuneable, 1300, 830 and 633 nm), polarisation control, infrared camera for mode profiling, multiple photodetectors, UV curing source and components for V-groove coupling blocks attachment.

Centres and Stakeholders


CentreApplied Photonics


UniversityFaculty of Engineering of the University of Porto
UniversityFaculty of Science of the University of Porto



NanoSTIMA - Macro-to-Nano Human Sensing Technologies



Prototypes developed at the Laboratory of Microfabrication

Arrayed waveguide gratings (AWG) wavelength division (de)multiplexers

Fiber Bragg and long period gratings