You wouldn’t think that mechanical force — the simple kind used to eject unruly patrons from bars, shoe a horse or emboss the raised numerals on credit cards — could process nanoparticles more subtly than the most advanced chemistry.
Their newly patented and original method uses simple pressure — a kind of high-tech embossing — to produce finer and cleaner results in forming silver nanostructures than do chemical methods, which are not only inflexible in their results but leave harmful byproducts to dispose of.
Fan calls his approach “a simple stress-based fabrication method” that, when applied to nanoparticle arrays, forms new nanostructures with tunable properties.
“There is a great potential market for this technology,” he said. “It can be readily and directly integrated into current industrial manufacturing lines without creating new expensive and specialized equipment.”