femt-O-cut ®

Nanoprocessing with femtosecond near infrared laser pulses



Ultraprecise cutting and hoel-frilling combined with high-resolution non-invasive 3D imaging:

  • Targeted transfection for optical gene transfer
  • Intra-cellular chromosome dissection
  • Separation of single cells from histological sections
  • Optical knocking-out of cellular components
  • Nanoprocessing and optical waveguide writing
  • ptical data storage



Product description

The system femt-O-cut ® uses compact femtosecond NIR laser for 3-dimentional nanoprocessing in transparent materials. Low energy (sub-nanojoule to nanojoule) pulses at high repetition rate of to 90 MHz are focused by high numerical apperture (NA 1.3) optics for optical breakdown in sub-femtoliter volumes. The beam intensity is regulated by a motorized attenuator. Several TW/cm2 can be reached in the focal region to enable ultraprecise ablation with minimum cut size below 70 nm (FWHM) by multiphoton ionization.

The device is based on a conventional microscope which is equipped with a high-speed galvoscanning unit. Full-frame scans, region-of-interest (ROI) scans, line scans as well as single point ablation (spot scan, drilling) can be performed with sublicron accuracy. A motorized stage is used for large area processing. For vertical positioning the focusing optics optics are mounted on a piezo-driven stage with an accuracy of 40 nm.

femt-O-cut® also represents a diagnostic tool for nanoinvasive tomography. This allows for the observation of the samples by high-resolution imaging to select the target area as well as to monitor the result of the ablation procedure.




Laser induced transient changes in the cellular membrane


Ultrashort pulsed lasers have been demonstrated to be a powerful tool for nanostructuring in semiconductors, metals, dielectrics, polymers, and tissues. Because of the strong linear absorption in most materials, UV-laser based systems provide only surface patterning. In contrast, femt-O-cut ® offers real three-dimentional processing even in the depths of more than 100 mm with submicron cut width. By multiphoton ionisation in the focal region, cut sizes below the diffraction limit can be achieved. The system can be used for direct writing of nanoscale structures in NIR-tranparent materials and opens  a wide field of industrial and medical as well as scientific applications.



Nanoscale structuring by femtosecond laser pulses is used for waveguide writing, photomask fabrication and to improve the surface quality of certain components. Further, drilling of microscopic holes into a variety of materials is possible.

The interaction of ultrashort pulsed lasers with biological materials has been found t

o be strongly limited by focal volume minimising the harm to nearby tissue regions. It is therefore possible to disconnect mutant tissue form living cells. The high resolution of femt-O-cut ® enables knocking-out of single organnels without any visible deterious effect.

With its extremely localised working are femt-O-cut ® has the potention to be a powerful toll for DNA manipulation. It can be used for optical deactivation of certain genomic regions in chromosomes. Femtosecond laser pulses have been shown to be applicable fo sectioning of human chromosomes and for highly localised gene and molecule transfer.

Nanosugery in ocular tissue: Creation of corneal flap


Technical data

    compact femtosecond laser (typical data)
    laser pulse duarion: <100 fs
    repetition rate: 80 Mhz
    mean laser output: 1.5 W
    wavelength: 710 ... 990 nm
    full-frame scanning, region-of-interest (ROI) scanning, line scanning, single-point illumination (spot scan, drilling)

    typical beam scan range: 350 x 350 mm (horizontal)
    200 mm (vertical)
    stage range: 120 x 012 mm
    spatial resolution: < 1 m (horizontal)
    < 2 m (vertical)
    focusing optics: magnification 40x
    numerical apperture (NA) 1.3
    video adapter for visualization with CCD-camera
    operating temperature: 15 .. 35 oC (59 .. 95 oF)
    relative humidity: 5 .. 95 % (non-condensing)
    power rewuirements: 230 VAC (50 Hz) or 115 VAC (60 Hz)

System dimentions

    stand: 490x280x480 mm3  16 kg
    scan module: 280x190x90 mm3  6 kg
    control unit: 450x300x130 mm3  8 kg
    laser (typical): 600x370x180 mm3  42 kg (laser head)
    450x440x270mm3  41 kg (power supply)
    270x200x380 mm3 20 kg (chiller)


Air-conditioning is recommended for laser operation.






Chromosome dissection with femtosecond laser pulses


Nanoprosessing of the human chromosome 1


Intrachromosomal hole fabrication


Targeted transfection of a CHO cell.  GFP plasmid was introduced through a transient sub-micron hole in the cellular membrance




femt-O-cut structured materials: A: gold, B: silicon, C: glass



Laser processing of cell-cell connections



K. König, i. Riemann, W. Fritzsche, Optica Letters 26(11), 819-821 (2001)

K. König, I. Riemann, O. Krauss, W. Frizsche, SPIE Vol. 4633, 11-22 (2002)

U.K. Tirlapur, K. König, Nature 418, 290-291 (2002)

K. König, O. Krauss, I. Riemann, Optics Express 10(3), 171-176 (2002)