Catalyst and plasma assisted nucleation and renucleation of gas phase selective laser deposition

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Harris L. Marcus
Guisheng Zong
W. Richards Thissell

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United States Patent and Trademark Office


A method and apparatus for selectively depositing a layer of material from a gas phase to produce a part comprising a plurality of deposited layers. The apparatus includes a computer controlling a directed energy beam, such as a laser, to direct the laser energy into a chamber substantially containing the gas phase to preferably produce photodecomposition or thermal decomposition of the gas phase and selectively deposit material within the boundaries of the desired cross-sectional regions of the part. For each cross section, the aim of the laser beam is scanned over a target area and the beam is switched on to deposit material within the boundaries of the cross-section. Each subsequent layer is joined to the immediately preceding layer to produce a part comprising a plurality of joined layers. In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, a gas phase is condensed on a surface and a laser beam is used to selectively evaporate, transform, activate or decompose material in each layer. A catalytic environment can be created proximate or upon the target area to ensure that initial nucleation and renucleation layers are receptive to substantially rapid and uniform growth of gas phase material at the target location. The catalyst can be placed on the initial substrate layer and/or upon successive layers as the layers are being deposited on the outer surface of the evolving part.



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