Researchers Developed Alloy for 3D Printing of Flexible Electronics
Researchers have developed a method for the rapid manufacturing of flexible computer screens and other electronic devices by 3D printing, according to a study conducted on March 5, 2018.
The research team was successful in using gallium alloy for 3D printing of complicated structures. Layering into tall structures would be impossible using the runny alloy. Nickel nanoparticles were put into the liquid metal called galinstan so that the nanoparticles were thickened into paste, which can then be used for additive manufacturing. This paste makes the layering easier and maintains the capacity of the alloy to flow. A stretchy two-layered circuit was 3D printed by the researchers to demonstrate the potential of their study.
In flexible electronics, alloys of gallium are already in use as a conductive material. They are less toxic, inexpensive, and self-healing. Earlier, these alloys were restricted to 2D printing. Structures with a height of 10 millimeters and a width of 20 millimeters were printed by the researchers as a part of this study. In the field of flexible electronics, this method of printing using liquid metal is essential. Researchers say that fast fabrication of complex designs can be enabled by additive manufacturing.
Many products such as bendable displays, electrically conductive textiles, and wearable sensor suits are featured by this field. Gallium alloy paste have demonstrated several new features to the field of flexible electronics. Uranbileg Daalkhaijav, co-corresponding author said, “It can be made easily and quickly. The structural change is permanent, the electrical properties of the paste are comparable to pure liquid metal, and the paste retains self-healing characteristics.”
Further studies by the team will involve the study about the structure of the paste and how the nanoparticles are stabilized. This development used for 3D printing of stretchable electronics and other products will increase the growth of global printed electronics market, as detailed in the global printed electronics market report published by Coherent Market Insights.
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