Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Exhibit Hall B (Minneapolis Convention Center)
Actual application of the highly desired properties of nanomaterials into functional devices requires radically new approaches to fabrication which achieve multiple combinations of diverse materials and complex multi-scale 3D architectures in a simple, low cost and versatile approach. Layer-by-layer assembly (LBL) is an excellent technique for the fabrication of an extensive variety of nanocomposites with exceptional properties unavailable by other means. However, while being low cost and simple, the technique significantly limits integration of such materials into functional devices. We have developed a toolbox of versatile methods to provide micro and macroscale control of LBL materials for the simple transition into advanced technologies. As the ability to precisely tune material properties is critical for successful development of novel and improved functionalities, the developed LBL techniques based on inkjet printing, elastomeric molds and colloidal crystal templates, provide systematic control of chemical and structural features from the molecular scale through the macroscale. In addition, the morphological control of the techniques allows for uniquely high contents of nanophase material as well as uniform composites or gradient structures to be integrated with traditional fabrication techniques or fabricated into freestanding, 3D functional structures.