Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sol-gel inks produce complex shapes with nanoscale features

15.10.2007
New sol-gel inks developed by researchers at the University of Illinois can be printed into patterns to produce three-dimensional structures of metal oxides with nanoscale features.

The ability to directly pattern functional oxides at the nanoscale opens a new avenue to functional devices. Potential applications include micro-fuel cells, photonic crystals and gas sensors.

The researchers describe the new inks in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Advanced Materials, and featured on its “Advances in Advance” Web site.

“Using this new family of inks, we have produced features as small as 225 nanometers,” said co-author Jennifer Lewis, the Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the university’s Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (FSMRL). “Our goal is to get down to 100 nanometer feature sizes.”

To create three-dimensional structures, the researchers use a robotic deposition process called direct-write assembly. The concentrated sol-gel ink is dispensed as a filament from a nozzle approximately 1 micron in diameter (about 100 times smaller than a human hair). The ink is dispensed while a computer-controlled micropositioner precisely directs the path. After the pattern for the first layer is complete, the nozzle is raised and another layer is deposited. This process is repeated until the desired shape is produced.

“We have opened direct ink writing to a new realm of functional materials,” said graduate student Eric Duoss, the paper’s lead author. “Since we print the desired functionality directly, the need for complicated templating and replicating schemes is eliminated.”

Unlike previous inks, which require a liquid coagulation reservoir, the newly formulated inks are concentrated enough to rapidly solidify and maintain their shape in air, even as they span gaps in underlying layers.

“This gives us the ability to start, stop and reposition the flow of ink repeatedly, providing exquisite control over the deposition process,” Duoss said. “For example, we can directly pattern defects in three-dimensional structures for use as photonic crystals.”

After the structures have been assembled, they are converted to the desired functional oxide phase by heating at elevated temperature. Titanium dioxide, which possesses high refractive index and interesting electrical properties, is one material the researchers have successfully produced.

The researchers’ ink design and patterning approach can be readily extended to other materials. “There are a nearly endless variety of materials to choose from,” Lewis said. “We envision having a toolbox of inks that can print at the micro- and nanoscale. These inks will be used for heterogeneous integration with other manufacturing techniques to create complex, functional devices composed of many different materials.”

James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Novel sensors could enable smarter textiles
17.08.2018 | University of Delaware

nachricht Quantum material is promising 'ion conductor' for research, new technologies
17.08.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>