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Project name:

Direct additive manufacturing at the sub-micronic scale: any material on any surface

Status: Idea
Creation date: 04-10-2021

Project objectives:

Summary

The French start-up is a spin-off from a very well-known physics institute in Paris. They develop a breakthrough additive manufacturing technology to deposit any liquid material on any surface with a high freedom of design and a resolution between 20 nanometers and tens of microns, including on large scale objects (up to a few dozen of centimeters). With applications in various industries, they are currently looking for research and technical cooperation agreements with research centers.

Description

A French startup created in 2020 is a spin-off from the well-known physics Institute in Paris. They developped a revolutionary and patented process: in few words, it is the smallest fountain pen in the world.

The startup uses a breakthrough technology that combines a nanometric “pen” with an oscillating macro-resonator to perform capillary depositions of any liquid.

The system's movement adapts to the specificities coming from either the ink (ex: viscosity) or the substrate (ex: topography) thanks a closed-loop electronics set-up (inspired from Atomic Force Microscope systems), thus enabling to be material agnostic and deposit virtually anything on anything. This process is only limited by common sense physical limits: rheology, particle size and surface energy. It offers a wide range of perspective, as the diameter of the nanopipette's tip hole is adapted to the particle size and the desired deposition resolution.

Therefore, this additive manufacturing technology enables to directly deposit any liquid material (sols, gels, polymers, colloidal suspension of metal, protein, etc.) on any surface, with a high freedom of design, and a resolution between 50 nanometers and tens of microns. Such a performance can be secured on macroscopic scale surfaces, from millimeters to tens of centimeters.

Example of applications:
- Antennas or electromagnetic shields
- Optical grids
- Surface patterning such as optical waveguides
- Conductive pillars
- Manufacturing of microled displays
- Chemical etching
- Master moulds for nanoimprint Lithography
- Protein networks
- Cellular engineering
- Wafer repairing
- Metamaterial.

The French start-up is looking for research and technical cooperation agreements with academics and corporate research centers from various industries: semiconductors, screens & optics, biology, quantum computing, etc.

This collaboration typically consists in 5 major steps:

Upstream steps:
1. Ink formulation
2. Product design

Middle step:
3. Manufacturing (provided by the French startup)

Downstream steps:
4. Functional characterization
5. Usage

The partner can be involved in either of these upstream or downstream steps (or all of them).

Advantages & innovations

This technology has 5 main advantages: - Versatility: can deposit any liquid material (sols, gels, polymers, colloidal suspension of metal, protein, etc.) on any surface - Resolution: between 50 nm and tens of µm, including for centimeter scale objects - Precision up to 1 nm XY - Speed: deposition rate up to 100 µm/s - Compactness and simplicity: this technology is a direct manufacturing technique that is integrated into a easy-to-use, fast, and table-top machine. No white room needed.

Stage of development

Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

The start-up is looking for any partner who wants to design and use revolutionary sub-micronic objects for any type of application: electronics, biology, screen manufacturing, etc. Research and technical cooperation agreements are sought with universities as well as with corporate research centers. This collaboration typically consists in 5 major steps: Upstream steps: 1. Ink formulation 2. Product design Middle step: 3. Manufacturing (provided by the French startup) Downstream steps: 4. Functional characterization 5. Usage The partner can be involved in either of these upstream or downstream steps (or all of them). Upstream, the partner can provide deposition specifications to the French start-up: design, substrate, material or desired functionalities (ex: conductivity, thermal resistance, etc.). In the middle, the start-up will provide the mean enabling to quickly prototype and manufacture these objects. Downstream the partner sought can characterize the objects, deepen its research, and iterate with the start-up for optimization.

Contact/ source: Enterprise Europe Network (europa.eu)

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