Laser-assisted photothermal imprinting of nanocomposite
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We report on a laser-assisted photothermal imprinting method for directly patterning carbon nanofiber-reinforced polyethylene nanocomposite. A single laser pulse from a solid state Nd:YAG laser (10 ns pulse, 532 nm and 355 nm wavelengths) is used to melt/soften a thin skin layer of the polymer nanocomposite. Meanwhile, a fused quartz mold with micro-sized surface relief structures is pressed against the surface of the composite. Successful pattern transfer is realized upon releasing the quartz mold. Although polyethylene is transparent to the laser beam, the carbon nanofibers in the high density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix absorb the laser energy and convert it into heat. Numerical heat conduction simulation shows the HDPE matrix is partially melted or softened, allowing for easier imprinting of the relief pattern of the quartz mold.