Hierarchical 3-D printing of nanoporous gold is a process that involves using a combination of additive manufacturing and nanotechnology techniques to fabricate a material that has a unique, porous structure at the nanoscale level.
The process typically involves the following steps:
Design: The first step is to design the 3D model of the nanoporous gold structure using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The design step involves specifying the final product’s dimensions, shape, and pore size.
Printing: The next step is to use 3D printing technology to manufacture the structure layer by layer. This can be done using various materials, including polymers, metals, and ceramics.
Nanoporous structure formation: Once the basic design is printed, additional steps are required to create the desired nanoporous structure. The formation can be done using various techniques, including chemical etching, electrochemical, and electroless deposition.
Characterization: The final step is to characterize the material’s properties to ensure it meets the desired specifications. Hierarchical 3-D printing may involve techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and porosity measurements.
The resulting material has a unique combination of properties, including a large surface area, high porosity, and good mechanical strength. Hierarchical 3-D printing makes it useful for various applications, including catalysis, energy storage, and sensing.
According to Chris Spadaccini, the director of LLNL’s Center for Engineered Materials and Manufacturing, “There are a whole lot of scientific and engineering challenges left, but it could have the significant impact, scaling up should be easier with small-scale reactors because you can parallelize. You could have an array of small 3-D reactors together instead of one large vessel enabling you to control the chemical reaction process more effectively. The Monolithic nanoporous metals, derived from dealloying, have a unique bicontinuous solid/void structure that provides both large surface area and high electrical conductivity, making them ideal candidates for various energy applications”.
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