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In laser-based manufacturing, processing setup customization is one of the popular approaches used to enhance diversity in material processing using a single laser. In this study, we propose setup design modification of an ultrafast laser system to demonstrate both Tin Oxide (SnO2) nanoparticle synthesis from bulk metal, and post printing of said nanoparticles using Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) method. Using the Pulse Laser Ablation in Liquid (PLA-L) method, nanoparticles were synthesized from a bulk tin metal cube submerged in distilled water. Such nanoparticles dispersed in water can form colloidal ink that can be used for different printed electronics applications. Pulse energy was varied to investigate the influence on morphological properties of the nanoparticles. It was observed that a decrease in average particle size, and an increase in the number of particles synthesized occurred as the pulse energy was increased. In our study, we adapted the same laser system to enable LIFT operation for printing of the SnO2 nanoparticles. The colloidal ink prepared was then used in LIFT method to study feasibility of printing the synthesized nanoparticles. By varying not only the laser parameters but process parameters such as coating thickness and drying time, printed results can be improved. Experimental results show great potential for both synthesizing and printing of the nanoparticles using a single laser system. This study serves as a proof of concept that a single laser system can turn bulk metal into nanoparticles-based applications without the need for extra processing from other machines/systems, opening the door to highly customizable prints with reduced lead times.


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Publication Title

Volume 1: Additive Manufacturing; Biomanufacturing; Life Cycle Engineering; Manufacturing Equipment and Automation; Nano/Micro/Meso Manufacturing





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