Spin-off from the Chair of Applied Laser Technology

PROJECT TERMlightmotif

Company founded January 2008


Micromachining, texturing, ultra short pulsed lasers, surfaces


Lightmotif is a young company specialized in laser micromachining with femto- and picosecond pulsed lasers. The company was founded in 2008 as a spin-off from both the University of Twente and the Materials Innovation Institute (M2i), with the goal to bring this new laser technology to the industry. Based on a phd-project that was conducted by the chair of Applied Laser Technology, the company applies these new ultrashort pulse laser sources for various industrial applications. Besides process development and job shop services for various customers, the company is focused on further developing new applications and machines for the emerging field of textured functional surfaces.

Lightmotif in the application laboratory

Ultrafast pulsed lasers enable a broad range of new possibilities in micro and nano materials processing. The extremely short pulses with a high energy density enable processing of virtually any material without detrimental effects from heat input. Processes like micro milling, cutting and drilling are possible in any material without burr formation and with sub micrometer accuracy. New applications are developed in the field of functional surfaces. Textures on the micro and nanoscale are fabricated that govern properties like friction, wetting and optical reflection.

With this technology, new products can be developed for various applications in diverse markets like energy, medical, high-tech and consumer products.


The following pictures illustrate some possibilities in machining precision holes, cuts or other features. The presented examples are all metals, but glass, ceramics or polymers can be machined likewise.

A 5 nm ‘deep’ groove, machined by
overlapping picosecond pulses.

A stainless steel foil of 150 µm thickness,
machined with a hexagonal hole pattern.

A funnel machined in silver 50µm thick silver foil, with an exit hole diameter of 4 µm

Thin foil with 7µm diameter holes in
a close hexagonal packing.


Lightmotif is developing new technologies in the field of functional surface textures. Micro and nano sized texturing processes are developed in order to change material properties. Together with customers and partners, new applications are developed. Ultrashort pulse laser machined textures can render surfaces super hydrophobic and thereby self-cleaning or reduce friction and influence tribological properties. But also manipulation of light, like optical gratings can be machined on various materials in a fast way.

A thin needle equipped with a texture, to alter its wetting properties.

A steel plate with a directly machined diffraction grating


Lightmotif left the campus of the University in the summer of 2009 to settle on the nearby Business and Science park. Still cooperating with the University and the Chair of Applied Laser Technology, Lightmotif wants to develop novel laser based processes and applications aided by design and development of the most advanced software, manipulators, metrology and lasers.


Interested to know what we can do for you? Then please get in touch with us:

Ir. Max Groenendijk (director)
+31(0)53-4500 840 / +31(0)53-489 4846