(Nanowerk News) Inspired by nature’s ability to shape a petal, and building on simple techniques used in photolithography and printing, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a new tool for manufacturing three-dimensional shapes easily and cheaply, to aid advances in biomedicine, robotics and tunable micro-optics.

Ryan Hayward, Christian Santangelo and colleagues describe their new method of halftone gel lithography for photo-patterning polymer gel sheets in the current issue of Science (“Designing Responsive Buckled Surfaces by Halftone Gel Lithography”). They say the technique, among other applications, may someday help biomedical researchers to direct cells cultured in a laboratory to grow into the correct shape to form a blood vessel or a particular organ.

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Ultraviolet curing (commonly known as UV curing) is a photochemical process in which high-intensity ultraviolet light is used to instantly cure or “dry” inks, coatings or adhesives. Offering many advantages over traditional drying methods., UV curing has been shown to increase production speed, reduce reject rates, improve scratch and solvent resistance, and facilitate superior bonding.

UV LEDs are a unique light source offering numerous advantages and challenges. A variety of parameters and conditions need to be considered for UV curing: Optical, Electrical, Thermal, Operating Conditions and Emitter Dimensions. The manufacture of a UV LED system is a complex process and is divided into ‘Front End’ wafer fabrication and ‘BackEnd’ LED packaging. Heraeus supplies UV LED systems for large area curing that performs all Back End manufacturing steps in-house.

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8 watts are not always 8 watts. You should consider this when comparing the output of UV LED systems. Information about UV LED systems provided in technical documents is so differing, varied and often imprecise that it is necessary to take a closer look. Specification of the measuring equipment and methods used, and knowledge of what variables are specifically measured are important to enable a comparison of LEDs and their performance.

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