Manufacturing with Light 2: Photobioform II

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng

Abstract

Selective formation of metallic nanoparticles in plastics has a wide range of uses for generating conductive tracks, creating antimicrobial surfaces and for the fabrication of sensors and actuators which has a broad spectrum of applications such as microsystems, printed electronics and wearable devices.

Photobioform II aims to develop bio-inspired, industrially relevant manufacturing processes that can selectively pattern metals onto non-conductive substrates using light-harvesting complexes to accelerate the reduction of metal ions embedded into these substrates. The key challenges addressed in this project cover the fields of material science and manufacturing.

The material science challenges include (1) the vast range of materials which can be processed using this method where each material requires different treatment techniques or operational parameters, (2) the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the photosynthesis within the light harvesting complexes, (3) the determination of the optimal material formulation for this reduction processes and (4) the understanding of the interdependent factors (wavelength, intensity, etc) acting in this multi-dimensional design space to target the for optimum metallisation process.

The manufacturing challenges cover (1) the interplay between processes and manufacturing techniques (and equipment) to deliver these processes (2) the novel spray coating process using aerosol jetting and (3) the industrial need for high speed, high resolution and low cost photo-patterning techniques. Particular high impact applications of prosthetics and encoders will be used to demonstrate the manufacturing capabilities developed during this research.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/N018265/1 30/10/2015 30/03/2016 £347,680
EP/N018265/2 Transfer EP/N018265/1 31/03/2016 31/03/2019 £303,610
 
Description This grant transferred institution. Please see details of Grant EP/N018265/2 for a summary of Key findings.
Exploitation Route The approach to selectively metalise 3D printed polymer parts has application areas for further development in:
- electronics manufacture
- sensor systems
- antimicrobial coatings
- smart prosthetics
- a new manufacturing strategy for robotics systems, medical devices and wearable technology.
Sectors Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description This grant transferred institution. Please see details of Grant EP/N018265/2 for the Narrative Impact Summary.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description A Platform for Hybrid Manufacturing Process research
Amount £1,675,629 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P027687/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 06/2022
 
Description Direct industry funding for additive manufacture of electrical heating technology 
Organisation Kanthal
Country Sweden 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have developed a new manufacturing process and machinery for Kanthal to research the development of complex and efficient electrical heating technology.
Collaborator Contribution Funding for Post Doctoral Researcher time, 2 X PhD studentship, £50,000 of consumables, £5,000 travel, technical staff time, industrial mentoring, access to testing facilities, factory visits and secondments for researchers.
Impact Multi-disciplinary collaboration of materials and manufacturing to improve the production capabilities of the industrial partner. The products will aid the manufacturing industry using industrial thermal processing operations to transition away from fossil fuels. This has been achieved by developing a production process (and associated machinery) that can generate complex 3D parts that have the required characteristics for industrial heating.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS) Workshop on Additive Manufacturing (printing) for packaging was hosted by Dr. Robert Kay at Loughborough University on the 22nd October 2015. This workshop brought together a range of individuals primarily from industry in order to introduce them to the current developments and activities in 3D printing applied to the field of electronics. The workshop was split into a morning session which educated these new individuals into the field of Additive Manufacturing and then in the afternoon covered the latest developments in academia and industry around 3D printing for electronics manufacturing. The research findings from two EPSRC projects was also showcased at this event (EP/L017415/1 & EP/L022133/1). Besides the networking benefits from this event the investigators on this grant were able to establish new collaborations with industry on existing and future research activities. The event also raised the awareness of many of the research activities in this field currently being conducted by UK Universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://imapsuk.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/additive-manufacturing-and-3d-printing-workshop-programme-a...
 
Description Design for 3D Printing Guest Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk to discuss how Photobioform I and II was applied to create 3D Printed electronics. The talk is from the Design for 3D Printing Guest Lecture series at Loughbourgh University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited to the Additive Manufacturing BSI Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact As a result of my work in developing new Additive Manufacturing processes including Photobioform I was invited to apply to stand on the British Standards Institute (BSI) Additve Manufacturing Technologies (AMT/8) committee. Our work also feeds into International standards including ISO and ASTM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/committees/50226095#:~:text=Overview%3A%20Under%20the%20di...
 
Description Speaker Invitation - Frontiers in Advanced Materials and Engineering Devices (FAMED) Northumbria research seminars 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk about research stemming from the Photobioform I and II project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Theme Lead in Electronics for ESRPC Design for Additive Manufacturing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact As a result of my work in EPSRC grants Photobioform and IAMP I was invited to speak at the ESPRC Design for AM launch event. The management committee thought my presentation demonstrated my leadership in the field of Additive Manufacturing for electronics and therefore asked me to lead their first theme.
I am now theme Lead in 3D Printing of Electronics for the EPSRC Design for Additive Manufacturing network and in 2021 organised a 2 day online event which brought two communities together to identify and roadmap how to solve the grand challenges. Through this work we linked the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society with Design for AM members bridging the gap between the disciplines. We have now produced a technological roadmap that will help the community tackle the challenges facing this growing research area.
The output from Photobio form is also the cover image for the EPSRC Design for AM network webpage: https://www.designforam.ac.uk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://www.designforam.ac.uk/design-for-am-electronics-2/