Nanotribological printing is a new kind of additive manufacturing technique developed by Robert Carpick, John Henry Towne Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Harman Khare, a member of his lab.
While using an atomic force microscope to study friction-reducing motor-oil additives, his team found that the tip of the AFM left behind solid structures as it dragged along these chemicals. They realized this phenomenon would enable AFMs to work like nanoscale 3-D printers, drawing patterns five hundred times smaller than the width of a human hair.
“There are two aspects of this research that are quite exciting,” Khare points out: “One, we are able to generate structures at the nanoscale additively, using only applied pressure and, sometimes, some heat. This is unusual in its relative simplicity to other additive nanolithography methods that require special working environments or operation conditions.”
“Secondly” he adds, “the structures we are able to create exhibit remarkable mechanical properties. We report on measured moduli and hardness of structures created through NTP that approach values normally seen in bulk materials.”
Continue reading “Nanotribological printing — a novel 3D nanotechnology fabrication technique” at Nanowerk.