Optomec has received new patents covering the use of Aerosol Jet for producing three-dimensional micro-structures at resolutions down to 15 micron.
The capability has been demonstrated for a range of materials, including polymers, metals and composite structures, and opens up opportunities for Optomec in the semiconductor and medical markets.
Optomec’s 3D micro-printing patents present a method for fabricating three-dimensional structures using in-situ heating or UV illumination to modify the properties of aerosol droplets as they are jetted onto a target surface. In the case of the UV embodiment, light partially cures photopolymer droplets or causes droplets of solvent-based nanoparticle dispersions to rapidly dry in-flight, with the resulting increased viscosity of the aerosol droplets facilitating the formation of free-standing 3D shapes. Using this process, lateral resolutions of 15um have been achieved, as have layer thicknesses of 100 nanometres and aspect rations of >100x for structure heights measured in millimetres.