Additive Manufacturing of Nanoporous Membranes Using Nanoparticle Etchants

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2016-WEI-67550
A common manufacturing practice involves embedding functional materials into film membranes to change the properties of the film. Current methods involve reactive ion-track etching. Unfortunately, the particle accelerator and chemical etching require large quantities of energy and time, making it inefficient. However, most similar processes are at low manufacturing readiness levels.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a process to generate high-aspect ratio nanopores and channels in thin films, using metal or magnetic nanoparticles as etchants driven by a pulsed laser source and aided by magnetic field gradients. The nanopores and channels can be filled with selective materials by vacuum infiltration to generate customized smart films with sensing or actuating functions. This novel, low cost, low energy method of introducing nanopores into thin films that can be adapted as a continuous manufacturing process with high throughput.

Advantages:
-Low energy
-Low cost
-High throughput

Potential Applications:
-Additive manufacturing
-Sensors
-Flexible electronics
May 12, 2017
Utility Patent
United States
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May 13, 2016
Provisional-Patent
United States
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