Multimaterial prints of neat TiO2 and AuNR/TiO2 hybrid inks. Image via Advanced Functional Materials.
In addition to TiO2, the approach can be applied to SiO2, Al2O3, or ZrO2 nanoparticle-based aerogels commonly used in photothermal devices. Photothermal heating of plasmonic nanoparticles has been leveraged in the past for prototype devices for clean water regeneration, energy generation, and photothermal catalysis, however until now has been limited to thin films due to the inability to structure nanoscopic properties on a 3D macroscopic scale.
By enabling more homogenous heat generation in a macroscopic object, the researchers believe their DIW 3D printing technique offers a completely new approach to fabricating large-scale 3D structured photothermal devices.
Further information on the study can be found in the paper titled: “Additive-free, gelled nanoinks as a 3D printing toolbox for hierarchically structured bulk aerogels,” published in the Advanced Functional Materials journal. The article was co-authored by M. Rebber, M. Trommler, I. Lokteva, S. Ehteram, A. Schropp, S. Konig, M. Froba, and D. Koziej.