The inherent optical nonlinearity of multiphoton absorption allows such absorption to be localized in regions of high light intensity. This means that photochemical or photophysical transformations can be restricted to occur within the focal volume of a laser beam that has been focused through a microscope objective. By moving the focal position, intricate three-dimensional microstructures can be created. The most well-developed multiphoton fabrication technique – multiphoton absorption polymerization – enables the creation of large-scale structures with feature sizes as small as 100 nm.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70130-X