Nano Dimension Technologies has signed a collaboration agreement with Tel Aviv University to develop 3D printing methods for a nanoparticle nickel material developed at the university labs.

Nickel is a metal with excellent mechanical properties and very high corrosion resistance properties, making it suitable 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.  

The researchers have now developed a 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 could help develop 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. 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.

This story uses material from Nano Dimensionwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.