Technique for 3-D Printing Metals at the Nanoscale Reveals Surprise Benefit
Late last year, Caltech researchers revealed that they had developed a new fabrication technique for printing microsized metal parts containing features about as thick as three or four sheets of paper. Now, the team has reinvented the technique to allow for printing objects a thousand times smaller: 150 nanometers, which is comparable to the size of a flu virus. In doing so, the team also discovered that the atomic arrangements within these objects are disordered, which would, at large scale, make these materials unusable because they would be considered weak and "low quality." In the case of nanosized metal objects, however, this atomic-level mess has the opposite effect: these parts can be three-to-five-times stronger than similarly sized structures with more orderly atomic arrangements.
The work was conducted in the lab of Julia R. Greer, the Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics and Medical Engineering; and Fletcher Jones Foundation Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. It is described in a paper appearing in the journal Nano Letters. [Caltech story]
Winners of the 2023 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced
The Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes are awarded annually to PhD candidates selected for the best thesis, publication, or discovery in select fields. Saransh Sharma, advised by Professor Azita Emami, has received the prize in Biotechnology or Related Fields for his research in developing ultra-low power and highly miniaturized medical electronics for in-vivo localization and tracking. Nathaniel Wei, advised by Professor John Dabiri, has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources or Related Fields for his research that explores the ways in which unsteady flows in the atmosphere can be leveraged in wind-energy systems for enhanced performance, robustness, and operational longevity. Rebecca Gallivan, advised by Professor Julia Greer, has received the prize in Nanotechnology or Related Fields. Coupled with the development of novel materials processing, Gallivan's research focuses on uncovering fundamental insight into the relationship between length-scale and microstructural features on nanomechanical phenomena in order to lay the foundation for advanced engineering and complex design of materials in nanotechnologies.
Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes