3D Printing is bonding nanoparticles without polymers.

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A revolutionary technique that enables the 3D printing of concentrated nanocrystal solutions while avoiding the use of polymers or resins. This innovative process leverages the inherent properties of nanoparticles and employs two-photon irradiation to selectively and locally form covalent bonds between adjacent nanoparticles. The result is a game-changing approach that allows for the creation of micrometer-scale resolution 3D architectures without altering the intrinsic properties of the nanocrystals. The world of 3D printing is continually evolving, driven by the quest for nanoscale resolution and the exploration of materials with unique functionalities. Traditional 3D printing technologies often rely on photocurable resins, which, unfortunately, can compromise material purity and degrade crucial properties.
At the heart of this revolutionary technique are colloidal nanocrystals—tiny building blocks that serve as the foundation for creating inorganic 3D structures. What sets this method apart is the absence of resins. Instead, it relies on a bonding process that occurs through the native ligands of the nanocrystals. The result? Arbitrary 3D structures with an impressively high inorganic mass fraction of approximately 90%.
Preserving Intrinsic Properties. One of the standout features of this innovative approach is its ability to preserve the intrinsic properties of the constituent nanocrystals. By avoiding the use of resins or polymers, the printed materials retain the unique characteristics of the individual nanoparticles. This opens up a world of possibilities for creating structure-dictated functionalities. The impact of this groundbreaking technique extends far beyond the confines of the laboratory. It offers a materials processing pathway that holds the potential to revolutionize device development, paving the way for emerging functionalities. From semiconductors to metal oxides, metals, and their blends, this approach offers versatility and promises to create structures that drive technological advancements.
One of the exciting outcomes of this method is the ability to produce structures with specific functionalities. For instance, semiconducting cadmium chalcogenide nanohelical arrays created through this technique exhibit broadband chiroptical responses with an anisotropic factor of approximately 0.24. This showcases the wide-ranging potential applications of this novel 3D printing approach. By eliminating the need for polymers or resins and enabling the creation of inorganic structures with high purity and strength, it ushers in a new era of materials science and processing. The applications of this groundbreaking method are vast, and its impact on various industries promises to be profound.

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