Supraparticles, printed 3D electronics and optical sensor technology

Meet-up at the interface of nanotechnology and sensor technology confirmed the potential of a cross-cluster exchange again

Two main topics awaited the participants of the Nano Sensor Meet-up #2 at the end of November: printed electronics and optical measurement methods and sensor technology. A good 30 players from the nanotechnology and sensor clusters had gathered virtually for an intensive, project-oriented exchange at the interfaces of both technologies.


Dr Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech AMT GmbH, opened the Nano Sensor Meet-up with "State of the Art for 3D printed electronics". Printed circuits and sensors on a rehab ball for stroke patients or the maintenance, repair and overhaul of printed electronics in aircraft cabin parts as concrete applications in everyday life already illustrate the advantages of the future technology 3D printed electronics. An outlook on further developments and possibilities rounded off the presentation. According to the expert, this future technology will be used in the next three to five years in the course of the first fully automated process lines. In ten years, 3D-printed electronics could be established on a sustainable basis across the board, which would then offer advantages for automated recycling, among other things.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Engelbrecht explained the range of "Integration of optical sensor technology for industrial environments" using current projects at the Polymer Optical Fiber Application Center of the TH Nuremberg. These currently include monitoring of reverse osmosis systems for water purification, enabling technologies for quantum technology, detection of the failure of adhesive joints in construction and wind energy, among others, as well as spectroscopic gas analysis.

The topic of gas analysis was taken up by Dr Benedikt Schug from the Fraunhofer ISC in his presentation "H2 indicator supraparticles". Researchers have made invisible hydrogen gas visible to the naked eye. Tiny particles change colour within seconds as soon as H2 is present in their environment - experts refer to this as an irreversible or reversible colour change - and can thus contribute to the early detection of hazards. These superparticles are already used in various products as a cost-effective additive. They are based on silica and Au-Pd (nano) particles with adsorbed dyes.

After these impulses from research and practice, it was not difficult for the participants to find points of contact for cross-technological cooperation - despite challenging problems such as the miniaturisation of optical systems, their resolution or diverse measurement issues in the field of gas sensors. For the second time already, the compact two-hour format of the "Meet-up" proved its worth for the exchange at the interfaces of the technologies - the cluster managers therefore also see themselves confirmed in pushing forward the cross-technology cooperation.


Dr. Anna Sauer (Network NanoAnalytics | Cluster Nanotechnology)

Dr. Justus Hermannsdörfer (Network nanoInk | Cluster Nanotechnology)

Matthias Streller (Strategische Partnerschaft Sensorik e.V. | Cluster Sensorik)