Additive manufacturing of 3D glass-ceramics down to nanoscale resolution

Summary of the technology

The present technology allows manufacturing complex 3D glass-ceramic micro- and nanostructures by combining ultrafast 3D laser nanolithography with calcination. As a result, inorganic glass or crystalline nanostructures become resilient in harsh physical and chemical environments and high temperatures.

Vilnius University

Details of the Technology Offer


3D printing is a simple, low-cost and flexible additive manufacturing technique to create complex structures that cannot be cut, assembled or carved. This technique is especially useful in fabrication of micro- and nanostructures to be used in health area, nanoelectronics,nanophotonics, etc. Recently, combining additive manufacturing, done by ultrafast lasers, with heat treatment helped down-scaling the dimensions of nanostructures, while preserving their initial geometry. In order to improve physical characteristics of nanostructures, metal nanoparticles may be added, however that results in roughening of the structures. This limits their application for functional 3D nanostructures where pure inorganic materials and/or optical quality and structural uniformity of the patterns and work pieces are required.


The present technology is based on combining ultrafast 3D laser nanolithography with calcination. Direct Laser Writing 3D lithography technique allows the production of initial 3D structures with relatively small (hundreds-of-nm) feature sizes out of hybrid organic–inorganic material SZ2080. Post-fabrication heating at high temperatures facilitates the decomposition of the organic part, which results in glass or polycrystalline ceramic hybrid material. During the heating procedure, 3D nanostructures permanently and homogeneously scale down to 60 % of their original size, while maintaining their initial geometry, regardless of their shape [1].

Due to isotropic down-sizing of the initial objects, there is no need to alter the proportions of the initial material. The final structures become resilient in harsh physical and chemical environments and high temperatures. Such advantages allow production of temperature, radiation and chemical resistant, highly durable functional micromechanical 3D structures, to be used in space, sensor production, biomedicine, etc.


  • Possibility to get true-3D ceramic or glass structures with higher than tens-of-micrometers resolution.
  • Resilience in harsh physical and chemical environments and high temperatures.
  • Due to calcination, structures shrink to 60 % of their original size, while maintaining initial geometry, regardless of the complexity of the structure.
  • No need to alter the proportions of the initial material.
  • 3D nanostructures are purely inorganic, of high optical quality and structural uniformity.


The present technology can be used in various applications:

  • Tailored narrow-band IR emission sources;
  • Optical elements for sensor applications in nuclear power plants;
  • Biomedicine;
  • Air and space engineering;
  • Nanophotonics.


Invented in cooperation between Vilnius Universityand Femtika D. Gailevičius, V.Padolskytė, L.Mikoliūnaitė,S.Šakirzanovas,S.Juodkazis, M. Malinauskas.


[1] D.Gailevičius, V.Padolskytė, L.Mikoliūnaitė,S.Šakirzanovas,S.Juodkazis, M. Malinauskas.Additive-manufacturing of 3Dglass-ceramics down tonanoscale resolution.Nanoscale Horiz., 2019, 4, 647.

Current development status

Laboratory prototypes

Related Keywords

  • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences and Exact Sciences
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • 3D printing
  • 3D printing design and modelling
  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Medical Health related
  • Computer related
  • biomedicine
  • air and space engineering

About Vilnius University

Vilnius University is the largest Lithuanian higher education and research institution. We are open for collaborative research, contract research or any cooperation activities with partners from business and public organizations. Multidisciplinary approach on R&D activities at Vilnius University provides unique opportunity to incorporate methodologies, perspectives, data and concepts from all scientific fields – biomedical, physical sciences, technologies, social sciences and humanities. We believe that the right mix of shared intentions with our partners and clients, outstanding teams of university researchers and open access to modern R&D infrastructure deliver remarkable solutions that can change organizations, markets and society in general.

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