Exploiting graphene’s exceptional electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties for practical devices requires fabrication techniques that allow the direct manipulation of graphene on micro- and macroscopic scales. Finding the ideal technique to achieve the desired graphene patterning remains a major challenge.
One manufacturing route that researchers have been exploring with increased intensity is inkjet printing where liquid-phase graphene dispersions are used to print conductive thin films. Inkjet printing, however, doesn’t help much when trying to build three-dimensional (3D) graphene structures.
This is where 3D-printing comes in. Applying 3D printing concepts to nanotechnology could bring similar advantages to nanofabrication – speed, less waste, economic viability – than it is expected to bring to manufacturing technologies.
These 3D printing techniques are reaching a stage where desired products and structures can be made independent of the complexity of their shapes – even bioprinting tissue and entire organs is now in the realm of the possible. … (read more)