Inkjet printing for decorative applications
There is increasing demand for individualised small- or mini-run consumer goods. This means that in the area of decorative inkjet printing, there is a lot of scope for nanoinks that use nanostructures to revolutionise the colour impression and with this to open up new areas of application like photographic and art printing, for example. There is further potential in decorative printing of labels and textiles as well as on tiles, glass, floor panels, metal and other building materials for customised production.
Printed electronics is considered to be one of the key technologies in the future development of electronic applications. Inks based on CNTs and silver nanoparticles, for example, have the potential to be used in conventional electronic components. Possible further areas of application for printed electronics using conductive nanoinks include, amongst other things, printing antennas (RFIDs), conducting tracks, flexible displays or photovoltaic modules. However, the printed structures have to be sintered by supplying energy, since nanoparticle inks are not electrically conductive after printing. The smaller the nanoparticles are, the lower the necessary sinter temperature of the inks is.
In functional printing too, there are great opportunities for what are known as smart inks. By synthesising custom nanoparticles and formulating them in special inks, it is possible to implement a wide range of applications. When doing this, nanoinks are used with electrically conductive, magnetic or fluorescing nanoparticles. Possible applications include forgery protection (credit cards, passports, etc.), codes and markings in the packaging sector as well as in the field of functional textiles and polymers.