Framework for Aerosol Jet Printing of Graphene and CNTs


In an article revealed in the journal ACS Omega, aerosol jet printing (AJP) of graphene and single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) designs on life like sturdy plasma electrolytically oxidized (PEO) aluminum (Al) blocks, which have the potential to be glorious warmth sink supplies, was reported.

Aerosol Jet Printing of Graphene and Carbon Nanotube Patterns on Realistically Rugged Substrates​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Examine: Aerosol Jet Printing of Graphene and Carbon Nanotube Patterns on Realistically Rugged Substrates. Picture Credit score: Pixel B/

Parametric house screening offered a basis for logical process development for graphene and SWCNT AJP on application-based, exhausting substrates.

Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes as Thermal Interconnects

Graphene and CNTs exhibit intriguing qualities equivalent to robust warmth conduction, very excessive electrical present capability, mechanical rigidity, and chemical stability. In consequence, they’re very interesting as machine parts in digital techniques, lights, and sensors.

These supplies are being evaluated as potential supplies for electrical and thermal interconnection in optoelectronics owing to their superior electrical and thermal conductance.

Coating with carbon nanotubes or graphene as intricate thermal conductors with a great connection to warmth drain parts is essential for stated thermal interconnections, notably in hybrid printing/surface-mount-technology approaches.

Precise warmth drain parts, in distinction to clean electronic-grade supplies equivalent to foils or wafers, are normally coarse machined-metal blocks with very tough surfaces. In consequence, the coating strategies for carbon nanotubes and graphene thermal interconnects have to be appropriate with such tough substrate surfaces.

Advantages of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) methods of graphene and carbon nanotubes, equivalent to inkjet printing or aerosol jet printing (AJP), are versatile strategies for creating electrical and thermal interconnects. In distinction with rival “top-down” machine design strategies, AM gives quite a lot of advantages.

For starters, it allows graphene and carbon nanotubes to be deposited on quite a lot of substrates with out requiring elevated temperatures or chemically energetic settings, resulting in higher substrate preservation.

Secondly, AM produces patterned deposits by default, eliminating any requirement of time-consuming postdeposition relocation, lithographic, and subtractive etching procedures which might be required to realize machine patterning in lots of conventional manufacturing strategies.

Third, by utilizing economical liquid-stage processing of graphene and CNTs, precursory inks for AM could also be produced on a big scale.

Inkjet Printing Vs. Aerosol Jet Printing

AJP is a very promising modern direct writing AM method that overcomes the constraints of inkjet printing: on this method, the substance to be deposited is suspended inside fantastic aerosolized particles produced by the AJP ink after which aimed within the type of a collimated spray onto the goal substrate in an organized sample.

Using an aerosolized spray whereas coating broadens the viscosity vary of viable AJP inks, permitting AJP to implant a bigger number of substances and larger stable mass loadings in comparison with inkjet printing. Moreover, for the reason that AJP aerosolized stream is collimated by 3D gasoline circulation wrapping, constant depositing is achieved throughout a spread of nozzle–substrate stand-off distances (1–5 mm). In consequence, AJP is nicely geared up for implantation on robust substrates.

AJP is the optimum strategy for direct writing of graphene or carbon nanotube patterns on tough warmth drain parts on account of its versatile vary of useable stand-off distances. Up so far, sadly, no analysis has explored the AJP of graphene and carbon nanotubes on such life like tough surfaces.

Predominant Focus of the Analysis

The parametric house of AJP of SWCNTs and graphene on life like tough warmth drain parts are investigated on this examine. Plasma-electrolytically-oxidized (PEO) aluminum blocks have been of particular curiosity as nanocarbon AJP printing substrates.

PEO Al blocks of this sort are a essential materials development for warmth drains in thermal management for industrial LED integration. Via the printing of various testing designs on PEO Al blocks, AJP was in contrast with archetypal natural and aqueous graphene and SWCNT inks.

The anatomical, structural, and easy electrical analysis of the deposited AJP patterns at a number of size ranges demonstrated the viability of AJP printing of graphene and SWCNTs on life like tough substrates.

Key Findings

AJP could simply accomplish full coating of the tough substrates, together with full protection of the microscale pores, with the assistance of repeated cycles.

The ink system used, whether or not natural or aqueous solvents with or with out supplementary components, has a major affect on the AJP outcomes. The ink used has a major affect on the nanocarbon-based AJP coating morphology, equivalent to crystalline integrity, deposit compactness, and inter-pass or intra-pass adherence in repeated passes.

The examine discovered that AJP coatings on tough PEO Al blocks had traits akin to AJP printing on generally used commonplace flat glass platforms. This demonstrates that AJP is well-suited to printing nanocarbon patterns on life like tough surfaces.

Proceed studying: What Nanoparticles are Greatest for Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Functions?


Kaindl, R., Gupta, T. et al. (2021) Aerosol Jet Printing of Graphene and Carbon Nanotube Patterns on Realistically Rugged Substrates. ACS Omega. Obtainable at:

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