Caltech Develops New Fabrication Technique for Intricate Metallic 3D Nanolattices by Additive Manufacturing

February 22,2018

A lattice of 3D-printed nickel. The entire structure is printed in 150-nanometer layers, and the final structure is merely six microns high. Credit: Greer Lab, Caltech.

Scientists coordinated by Prof. Julia Greer at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) developed a new technique to fabricate metallic 3D nanolattices. They used Nanoscribe’s 3D printer Photonic Professional GT to expose a newly developed photo-curable material composed of photoresist and nickel clusters.

After fabrication of the nickel-containing polymer lattice, pyrolysis of the structure was performed in order to remove the organic components causing a shrinkage of 80% of the structure. The resulting nanolattice consists of beams with diameters of approximately 300 to 400 nm and has an effective mechanical strength comparable to other metallic lattices fabricated by macro scale additive manufacturing technologies.

The findings of Greer’s team reported in the recent Nature Communications journal open doors for the creation of other metallic micro-objects for applications in MEMS, energy storage and medical microrobotics.

Find the scientific publication for free here: Additive manufacturing of 3D nano-architected metals