Monday, June 25, 2012

Nanoscale printers may bypass factories


Nanoscale printers may bypass factories

nanoprinter

Solvent containing nanoparticles (yellow dots) flows out of a capillary and forms controllably ultra-small droplets. The solvent evaporates rapidly from the droplets, leaving a structure made of accumulated nanoparticles in its wake (credit: Patrick Galliker/ETH Zurich)

ETH-Zurich researchers have developed an economic, fast and reproducible method for printing micro- and nanoscale (<100 nm) structures in a manner similar to an ink-jet printer printing art.

The trick: ultrafine particles are transferred onto a surface from a capillary with the aid of an electrical field. Depending on how long material accumulates at the same spot, the structure can be a dot or nano-tower, or even an arch.

Surfaces modified with nano-structures can absorb, concentrate and transmit light instead of reflecting it.

Applications

  • Increased efficiency of thin-film solar cells by capturing the light and channeling it directly towards the active layer, for instance, instead of reflectng part of the light and letting another part escape unused.
  • Camouflage suits
  • New kinds of faster, more selective and highly sensitive detectors and sensors might be feasible.
  • Special light microscopes in which light nanoantennas trigger fluorescence, enabling individual molecules to be observed.
  • Wherever material needs to be applied on a nanoscale in a targeted fashion — a CPU printed on the spot, for example.
eth_nanoscale_printing

Using the new method, researchers can print dots, small towers, lines and other structures at the nanoscale (SEM image) (credit: Patrick Galliker / ETH Zurich)

Advantages

  • Structures can be applied to different surfaces in a quick and reproducible manner.
  • Fast because the printer can be programmed in such a way that material is applied precisely where it is needed.
  • Removal and waste of excess material no longer required.
  • Less expensive — no large-scale facilities, high calssification cleanrooms, exceedingly high temperatures or special pressure ratios, and laborious and time-consuming vacuum steps.
  • Throughput and size of the printed surfaces may be increased considerably during industrial production.
  • Prototyping at the smallest scale could be performed fast and affordably.

The researchers next plan to develop a print head containing several individually addressable capillaries to increase throughput and enable stacking layers of different materials.


Original Page: http://www.kurzweilai.net/nanoscale-printers-may-bypass-factories




-Michael

3 comments:

  1. Whether it's a small office or a full-fledged one, you cannot do without a color printer. Buying a color printer can be a trifle tricky because price need not be the only criteria that will give you the best buy. color printers reviews

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking. Best Color Laser Printers

    ReplyDelete
  3. You would have to replace the inkjet's ink cartridges about 25 times compared with the two times you would have to replace the laser printer's toner cartridge. cheap 3d printer

    ReplyDelete