Development of Nano-precision Bricklaying Strategies
Being able to position micron-sized functional particles with nano-precision in well-defined 3D networks is a feat that has not been realised before and is nearly unexplored territory in terms of dedicated fabrication and engineering. Finding a method that can achieve this would open the road to produce materials with new, unexplored possibilities in chemistry (e.g., chromatography, catalysis) or physics (e.g., photonics).
In my PhD project, which will be part of a large-scale ERC-funded project, it is planned to investigate the possibilities and challenges of a number of potential manufacturing strategies to enable large-scale construction engineering of micro-scale building blocks (uniform micron-sized spheres to start with). Emphasis will be put on the elaboration of strategies for nano-dispensing of photo-curable glues in combination with local illumination strategies. As a side-track it will also be explored how solid-laden polymer precursor mixtures can be used to build 3D hierarchical materials incorporating ordered arrays of functionalized micro-particles.
My PhD Project is a cotutelle agreement between the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the University of Twente (link).