Printing the Stuff of Fairytales: Chen Shih-chi’s nanoscale printer makes invisibility a reality
22 Apr, 2021

The printer, developed by CUHK engineer Prof. Chen Shih-chi, creates a metamaterial surface that can manipulate light, rejecting it if desired. This incredibly thin masking sheen would obscure the outline of a fighter jet, or even a person, making the object impossible to see thanks to what is effectively a ‘magic cloak’.

‘A person could wear it like in fairytales,’ Professor Chen says with a laugh. ‘It’s a problem of resolution and materials, so it can be an invisible cloak for anything you want to shield.’

The new printer is a record breaker in three ways. It sets a new high-water mark for printing speed, resolution and cost. The technique is known as FP-TPL, full name femtosecond projection two-photon lithography. Femtosecond lasers are a family of pulse laser that do not emit continuous light, with a high peak power but very low average power use.

To learn more about Prof. Chen research: click here!