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Printed Electronics World
Posted on March 2, 2016 by  & 

Enabling 3D printing of sensors using nickel nano-particles

Nano Dimension, a leading printing electronics company in the area of 3D printing, has announced that Nano Dimension Technologies, a fully owned subsidiary of Nano Dimension, has signed a collaboration agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University, under which a group of researchers headed by Professor Gil Markovich, head of the department of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, will collaborate on the development of an application method for a nanoparticle nickel material developed at the University Labs.
 
Nickel is a metal with excellent mechanical properties and very high corrosion resistance properties, ideally suited for printing applications. However, when utilizing inks made from nickel nanoparticles for inkjet printing, the main problem is the formation of particle clusters that can clog the printer head nozzles.
 
Now, researchers at Professor Markowitz's labs have developed a unique method to produce a stable suspension of nickel nanoparticles that do not cluster. This was achieved using a wet chemical synthesis process, based on the reduction reaction of the nickel compounds and the presence of a capping agent which formed the final product, well defined nickel nanoparticles.
 
This collaboration with Tel Aviv University, in combination with Nano Dimension's intellectual property and know-how, could help advance development of new ink formulations tailored to Nano Dimension's printing technologies and a wide range of new 3D printing applications.
 
 
Potential applications of nickel nanoparticles include sensors with a high spatial resolution, using advanced print heads and a precision micrometer scale. Implementing this innovative technology with Nano Dimension's 3D printing process will make it possible to embed sensors within the layers of a PCB, a process not possible with conventional manufacturing, opening up a world of possibilities for the monitoring of various energies and their derivatives, such as capacitance, magnetism, temperature and radiation.
 
Additionally, nickel functions as an effective barrier against oxidation (diffusion barrier) and when used for the production of PCBs, this means corrosion is not possible. Adequate protection is particularly necessary for nano-metric corrosive metals, since the oxidation phase is immediate when exposed to air.
 
Prof. Gil Markovich, who also serves as the head of the School of Chemistry in Tel Aviv University, is also investigating the field of nano-metric scale metals. His research fields include the development of transparent electrodes based on metal nanowires for touch-screens, in-organic nanocrystals for chiral sensing and more.
 
Source and top image: Nano Dimension
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