Polymer and biomolecule processing for medical and electronics applications, i.e. the fabrication of sensors and biosensors, microarrays, or lab on chip devices is a cornerstone field which shows great promise. Laser based thin film deposition techniques such as pulsed laser deposition or matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) are competing with conventional methods for integrating new materials with tailored properties for novel technological developments. Successful polymer and protein thin film deposition requires several key elements for depositing viable and functional thin films, i.e. the characteristics of the laser depositing system, the choice of targets and receiver substrates, etc. This chapter reviews the following topics: brief presentation of the MAPLE process including several examples of polymer materials deposited by MAPLE, thus illustrating the potential of the technique as a gentle laser-assisted deposition method. In particular, the “synthesis” of new materials, their analysis and correlation of the bulk and interface properties to its bio-environment shall be discussed as a method to tackle some bioengineering issues. We will also focus on recent breakthroughs of the MAPLE technique for the fabrication of functional devices, i.e. sensor devices based either on chemoresponsive polymers or on proteins.
Part of the book: Laser Ablation