Advanced Nanomanufacturing Techniques

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials

Abstract

Additive nanomanufacturing is a catch-all term at the moment for all technologies that do not explicitly use lithographic techniques for building up parts at the scale of 1 micron or less. Such approaches promise to revolutionize the future of manufacturing by enabling specialized component developments for use in increasing the productivity of manufacturing by enabling us to create smart components on demand and on any surface. Crucially, by eschewing semiconductor processes for simple, yet functional components, such processes promise to be more environmentally friendly. For example, The United Nations University in Tokyo has estimated that an average 2 g silicon chip utilizes 1.6 kg of fossil fuel, 73 g of chemicals and 32 kg of water.

Novelty of the research methodology
Additive manufacturing at the larger scales has provided a pathway for inexpensive and flexible manufacturing of specialized components and one-off parts. At the nanoscale, such "rapid-prototyping" techniques do not exist. It is in this exciting and important area that I intend to continue to carry out research. Additive nanomanufacturing (ANM) can empower smaller facilities to design, create and manufacture on their own while providing a wider material selection and flexible design. This is especially important as nanomanufacturing thus far is largely constrained to 2-dimensional patterning techniques and being able to rapidly manufacture in 3-dimensions will open up new device concepts. The proposed research will lead to creating an entirely new breed of devices with novel applications, in addition to helping existing nanomanufacturing by allowing for potential off-line functional enhancement. Such techniques are even more favourable in applications where billions of parts are not required; thus traditional cost advantages of scale do not apply to lower volume or high-value bespoke applications (very similar to the rise of rapid prototyping at larger scales).

This project falls within the EPSRC Manufacturing the Future research area

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513295/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2283330 Studentship EP/R513295/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Claire Claire Paetsch