Micro and Nano Structuring

Our range of services

Pulsed, especially ultrashort pulsed (USP) lasers can create highly precise functional micro- and nanostructures since they have  high beam quality and introduce little heat into workpieces. This gentle type of subtractive laser material processing can be used for a variety of processes, such as patterning, ablation, drilling, cutting, or selective thin-film deposition. In contrast to many mechanical processes, the laser works almost wear-free and is highly productive.

New approaches to laser beam guidance are being tested and implemented in real systems to efficiently use high average powers – for example, in the multi-hundred watt range – in ablation processes and to increase their productivity. In one of them, parallelized multi-beam processing, the incoming laser beam is split into several individual beams. This concept has been put into practice at Fraunhofer ILT for drilling applications in filter and screen technology or for coating masks, among others. Drilling rates of up to 12,000 holes/s have already been achieved at a precision in the micrometer range. In addition to the parallelization of processes, the institute is also developing beam shaping concepts that are necessary to efficiently process glass, sapphire, ceramics, semiconductors and heterogeneous layer systems.

Micro- or nanostructures can be used, for example, in the optical industry as anti-reflective coatings or polarizers, in electronics and metrology as novel sensory elements, or in medicine and biotechnology as nanoscale particle filters.

The range of services we offer includes the development of processes and systems, feasibility studies, simulation and modeling as well as individual consulting.

Microstructured metal surface.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Microstructured metal surface.
Ablation of thin glass.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Ablation of thin glass.
Arrangement of micro holes in thin glass.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Arrangement of micro holes in thin glass.

Laser beam ablation

  • Production of tools and tool inserts
  • Production of functional surfaces
  • Selective removal of thin layers
  • Structure sizes < 10 μm with surface accuracies < 200 nm

Laser fine cutting

  • High-speed fine blanking with cutting widths < 20 µm
  • 3D applications
  • Remote fine blanking


  • Fabrication of deterministic periodic surface structures by multibeam interference
  • Production of statistical periodic surface structures by means of laser-induced surface effects (LIPSS, nano ripples)
  • Structure sizes in the range of 100 nm - 500 nm

Laser drilling

  • Precision drilling with Ø > 30 μm at drilling depths up to 2 mm
  • High rate drilling with up to 12,000 holes/ s
  • Microdrilling with drill diameters < 1 µm

Hybrid processes for microstructuring

  • Use of in-process selective laser heating to change the material properties
  • Replicative generation of micro- and nanostructures by laser-assisted hot embossing


Our brochures offer a quick view onto our service portfolio. Find more detailed information in the “project results“ tab.


“Micro and Nano Structuring with Lasers”


“Laser Processes for Hydrogen Technology”


“Laser Drilling”


“Selective Laser Etching of Glass and Sapphire“


"Laser Ablation for Thin Film Structuring"


“Lasers in Plastics Technology”

“Laser Technology in Photovoltaics”

“Application Center Laser Structuring for Tool and Mold Construction”

Video: Stifterverband Prize for Multi-beam Laser Processing

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The ultra-short pulse laser is seeing ever wider acceptance among industrial users as a tool for precision manufacturing. In particular, these advances are due to new developments or technological progress in system technology, which increase productivity considerably. Increasing productivity significantly was also the goal of a team from industry and research, which was awarded the Science Prize of the Stifterverband for Collaborative Research at the annual conference of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft on October 9, 2020. The team has developed a technology in which a laser beam is split into up to 16 partial beams. That means there are 16 tools controlled in parallel and individually to produce functional surfaces.


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


Research with us!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about general topics! Our contact persons are happy to get in touch with you.


Blattmann, V., Trusheim, D.:
Hybrid laser-etching-process for wafer texturing
Energy Procedia 77, 766-773 (2015)

Finger, J., Kalupka C., Reininghaus, M.:
High power ultra-short pulse laser ablation of IN718 using high repetition rates
J. Materials Processing Technol. 226 (Dec.), 221-227 (2015)

Fornaroli, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Dicing of thin silicon wafers with ultra-short pulsed lasers in the range from 200 fs up to 10 ps
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 10 (2), 229-233 (2015)

Oreshkin, O., Küpper, M., Temmler, A., Willenborg, E.:
Active reduction of waviness through processing with modulated laser power
Journal of Laser Applications 27 (2), 22004 (7 S.) (2015)

Mincuzzi, G., Vesce, L., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Gehlen, E., Reale, A., Di Carlo, A., Brown, T. M.:
Taking temperature processing out of dye-sensitized solar cell fabrication: Fully laser-manufactured devices
Adv. Energy Mat. 4, 1400421 (8 S.) (2014)

Temmler, A., Walochnik, M. A., Willenborg, E., Wissenbach, K.:
Surface structuring by remelting of titanium alloy TI6AL4V
In: Proceedings 33rd ICALEO International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro–Optics, October 19-23, 2014, San Diego, CA, USA
Paper ID 1401, ISBN 9781940168029 (10 S.) (2014)

Zibner, F., Ryll, J., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
High precision 2.5D laser cutting of thin nitinol and polyurethane for medical applications
ICALEO, 32th International Congress on Applications of Lasers&  Electro-Optics : October 6-10, 2013, Miama/Fl., USA., M4154 (6 S.) (2013)

Eppelt, Urs:
Elektronenschauer im Glas
Laser Community, 2/2012, pp. 24-25 (2012)

Eppelt, U., Russ, S., Hartmann, C., Sun, M., Siebert, C., Schulz, W.:
Diagnostic and Simulation of PS-Laser Cutting
Proc. of the 31st Int. Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics, ICALEO September 23-27, 2012, Anaheim, CA, USA, Paper M504, 10 S. (2012)

Hambach, N., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Stability limits of laser drilled hole arrays on large areas
J. Laser Appl. 24, Nr. 3, 5 S., (2012)

Michaeli, W., Eilbracht, S., Scharf, M., Hartmann, C., Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Theiß, S.:
Application of variothermal heating concepts for the production of microstructured films using the extrusion embossing process
J. Polymer Eng. 32, 95-101 (2012)

Mincuzzi, G., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Vesce, L., Reale, A., Di Carlo, A., Gillner, A., Brown, T.:
Laser processing of TiO2 films for dye solar cells: a thermal, sintering, throughput and embodied energy investigation
Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Wiley Online Library DOI: 10.1002/pip.2261

Mincuzzi, G., Zardetto, V., Vesce, L., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Gillner, A., Reale, A., di Carlo, A., Brown, T.:
Raster scanning laser and UV processing of nanocrystalline TiO2 films for sintering in dye solar cells: Device performance, throughput and embodied energy
MRS Online Proceedings Library 1447, 6 S. (2012)

Schaefer, M., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A,:
Comparison of laser ablation of transparent conductive materials on flexible and rigid substrates
Proc. LOPE-C, Munich, 39-43 (2012)

Sun, M., Eppelt, U., Russe, S., Hartmann, C., Siebert, C., Zhua, J., Schulz:
Laser ablation mechanism of transparent dielectrics with picosecond laser pulses
Proc. SPIE 8530, 9 S. (2012)

Wu, S., Huang, J., Beckemper, S., Gillner, A., Wang, K., Bubeck, C.:
Block polymer supramolecular assemblies hierarchically structured by three-beam interference laser ablation
J. Mat. Chem. 22, Nr. 11, 4989-4995 (2012)

Beckemper, S., Huang, J., Gillner, A., Wang, K.:
Generation of periodic micro- and nano-structures by parameter-controlled three-beam laser interference technique
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 6, Nr. 1, 49-53, (2011)

Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Gillner, A., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Michaeli, W., Klaiber, F., Schöngart, M., Theiß, S.:
Injection molding of products with functional surfaces by micro-structured, PVD coated injection molds
Prod. Eng. 5, Nr. 4, 415-422, (2011)

Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Theiß, S., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A., Michaeli, W., Hopmann, C., Eilbracht, S., Schöngart, M., Scharf, M.:
Manufacturing of micro-structured parts for mass production purposes
Proc. of the Int. Symp. on Assembly and Manufacturing ISAM 2011, 25.5.-27.5. 2011, Tampere, Finland. 8 S. ISBN 978-1-61284-343-8 (digital)

Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Ewering, M., Gillner, A., Beckemper, S., Hartmann, C., Theiß, S.:
Nano structured physical vapor deposited coatings by means of picosecond laser radiation
J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 11, 1-7, (2011)

Bobzin, K., Bührig-Polaczek, A., Michaeli, W., Poprawe, R., Bagcivan, N., Beckemper, S., Eilbracht, S., Gillner, A., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Ivanov, T., Klaiber, F., Scharf, M., Schöngart, M., Theiß, S.:
Verkürzung von Prozessketten zur Herstellung von Bauteilen mit funktionalen Oberflächen mit Mikro-und Nanostrukturen
In: Brecher, C. (Hrsg.): Integrative Produktionstechnik für Hochlohnländer, 672-734, (2011)

Hambach, N., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Stability limits of laser drilled hole arrays on large areas.
ICALEO. 30. Int. Congr. on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics, October 23-27, 2011. M50, 895-899, 2011Holtkamp, J., Hartmann, C., Gillner, A., Beckemper, S., Dohrn, A., Eifel, S.:
Mikrostrukturieren mit Zukunft
Laser Technik J. 8, Nr 2, 37-40, (2011)

Ivanov, T., Bührig-Polaczek, A., Vroomen, U., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A., Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Theiss, S.:
Investment casting of surfaces with microholes and their possible applications
Light Metals 2011. Proc. of the technical sessions presented by the TMS Aluminum Committee at the TMS 2011 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Warrendale, Pe.: TMS, Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. Chichester: Wiley, 705-709, (2011)

Ivanov, T., Bührig-Polaczek, A., Vroomen, U., Hartmann, C., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A., Bobzin, K., Bagcivan, N., Theiss, S.:
Replication of specifially microstructured surfaces in A356-alloy via lost wax investment casting
J. Micromech. Microeng. 21, 85026-85026, (2011)

Michaeli, W., Schöngart, M., Klaiber, F., Beckemper, S.:
Production of superhydrophobic surfaces using a one-step variothermal injection moulding process
Micro Nanosystems 3, 222-225, (2011)

Schaefer, M., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Ablation of PEDOT/PSS with excimer lasers for micro structuring of organic electronic devices
Synth. Met. 161, 1051-1057, (2011)

Schaefer, M., Esser, A., Holtkamp, J., Gillner, A.:
Laser ablation of transparent conducting materials for organic electronics
Proc. of Large-Area, Organic and Polymer Electronics Convention 2011 (LOPE-C 11), June 2011, Frankfurt/M. Frankfurt/M.: Organics Electronics Association, 159-163, (2011)

Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Trusheim, D., Das, J., Krantz, S., Wieduwilt, J:
Influence of pulse duration in picosecond laser ablation of silicon nitride layers
Energy Proced. 8, 614-619, (2011)

Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Häberle, A., Russell, A., Hernández, J. L., Krantz, S.:
Influence of the pulse width for visible pulsed laser doping for crystalline solar cells using phosphosilicate glass
J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 6, Nr. 1, 64-68, (2011)

Sedao, X., Sarnet, T., Hernandez, J. L., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Krantz, S.:
Edge isolation using ultra-short pulse laser materials with a top-hat beam profile
Adv. Mat. Res. 321, 234-239, (2011)

Trusheim, D., Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Baier, T., Krantz, S., Bauer, D., Das, J.:
Investigation of the influence of pulse duration in laser processes for solar cells
Phys. Proc.12, 278-285, (2011)

Gillner, A.
Laser micro-structuring
In: YI Qin: Micromanufacturing Engineering and Technology, Norwich, N.Y.: W. Andrew Publ. 2010. pp. 59-67. ISBN 978-0-8155-1545-6

Huang, J., Wu, S., Beckemper, Gillner, A.
All-optical fabrications of ellipsoidal caps on azobenzene functional polymers
Opt. Lett. 35, Nr 16. 2711-2713, (2010)

Schaefer, M., Jacobs, P., Bauer, D., Moll, D., Gillner, A.
Investigation and development of a molding process for the production of micro-hairs
Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 51, 935-944, (2010)

Schulz-Ruhtenberg, M., Haeberle, A., Russell, R., Hernández, J. L., Krantz, S.
Quest for the ideal laser for an industrial laser doping process for crystalline solar cells
LPM 2010 - 11th International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, Stuttgart, 5 S., (2010)

M. Schulz-Ruhtenberg, J. L. Hernandez, V. Prajapati, R. Bleidiessel, C. Morilla, Y. Larmanda, V. Vervisch, T. Sarnet, A. Olowinsky
Direct laser doping for high-efficiency solar cells
ICALEO 2009, 28th International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics, 4 S., (2009)

A. Temmler, E. Willenborg, N. Pirch, K. Wissenbach
Structuring by remelting
Proc. of the 5th Int. WLT Conf. on Lasers in Manufacturing 2009, Munich, June 15th - 18th, 2009. Ed. by A. Ostendorf [u.a.]
Stuttgart: AT-Fachverlag, pp. 403-407, (2009)

R. Poprawe, A. Gillner, D. Hoffmann, J. Gottmann, W. Wawers, W. Schulz
High speed high precision ablation from ms to fs
Proc. SPIE 7005, 12 S., (2008)

A. Gillner
Laser micro processing
Laser Technik J. 5, 27-30, (2008)

D. Wortmann, J. Gottmann, N. Brandt, H. Horn-Solle
Micro- and nanostructures inside sapphire by fs-laser irradiation and selective etching
Opt. Expr. 16, Nr 3, 1517-1522, (2008)


Our services cover a wide range of topics. Related topics to Micro Structuring and further research and development focuses can be found under the following links.