Polyetherimide micro and nano foams find applications in structural, chemical, thermal, and biological fields. Polyetherimide micro and nano foams have been fabricated using variety of approaches that includes gas foaming and solvent casting. These techniques however result in foams either with very low thickness or whose porous region is embedded with a solid outer layer severely restricting their use for biomedical applications especially as scaffolds for tissue engineering. In this study, a novel solvent free approach of fabricating bulk polyetherimide foams using laser irradiation of samples saturated with carbon dioxide, for applications in the biomedical field is presented. The effects of processing parameters namely laser head travel speed and power on the resulting morphologies are analyzed using microscopy techniques. The scanning electron microscopy images show that pores with an average size of 3.5 microns are generated on a conical surface across the cross section with interior pores in the hundreds of nanometer range. This study shows that laser foaming can be successfully used to fabricate skinless polyetherimide micro and nano foams with a combination of medium power and low speed resulting in ideal morphology.

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