Development of UV curable smart and functional inks
UV-INK–Development of UV curable smart and functional inks
A number of printing technologies have been developed allowing to print functional materials such as sensors, actuators and multifunctional structural parts. Despite this favorable context 2D and 3D printing technologies lack from a variety of materials with specific properties to be printed, allowing to improve operation life time, specificity and functionality. These limitations must be addressed to meet the requirements of industrial applications. This project will tackle the fabrication of a new generation of printable UV curable pure polymers and composites with tailored properties and functionalities by 2D and 3D printing technologies. Novel magnetic, semiconductor and dielectric inks will be developed, fully characterized and integrated into functional devices.
Close related to the strong evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, smart and multifunctional materials are a key driving force for the development of wireless, sustainable and interconnected autonomous smart systems. Printing of smart and multifunctional materials, besides allowing a more environmental friendly production and implementation into devices, also offers several advantages over other large-scale production methods, such as patterning capability, high speed, low cost, possibility of room temperature operation, applicability to large areas and flexible substrates and ability to produce specific parts with complex geometries at low costs. Polymers offer several advantages for printable smart and multifunctional materials based technologies, as they are relatively low cost materials, are more versatile than inorganic materials, their fabrication techniques are simple, can be printed on various types of substrates and there is a wide possibility of tailoring molecular structure and side-chains, introduce charged or neutral particles, and even grains with specific properties into the bulk material or on its surface region (polymer composites), enabling materials to be produced with specific physical and chemical properties.Despite the large maturity of 2D and 3D printed technologies, the number of materials with suitable properties to be printed is still small. Further, most of those materials are printed after melting or solvent based processes, limiting fabrication speed, definition and the introduction of specific functionalities. Those drawbacks can be overcome by the development of a new generation of multifunctional UV curable inks for 2D and 3D printing technologies.
Thus, the main objective of the present project is to develop a new generation of optimized UV curable 2D and 3D printable smart and multifunctional materials, fully characterize them and implement them into functional devices, as a suitable proof of concept.
This project will have a large impact both in the scientific and industrial communities as those materials are increasingly needed for the growing field of additive manufacturing.