Currently, the accuracy of 3D printing technology can reach 100 microns, which is far from enough for processing many electronic devices. Dr. Nanjia Zhou from the School of Engineering, Westlake University used new materials as the core in breaking the limits of 3D printing accuracy. He designed new 3D printing functional materials and combined ultra-high precision 3D printing technology to achieve electronic 3D printing from the hundred nanometers to micron level.
By achieving ultra-high precision, Nanjia Zhou's group introduced 3D multi-material printing technology to the chip-level high-end manufacturing field. It has already achieved the package and integration of 5G radio frequency electronic devices with 3D printing. Using 3D printing technology to make passive devices, the antenna size can be reduced to 10-100 microns.
This method improves the accuracy by 1-2 orders of magnitude compared to the existing processing methods, enabling the application of 3D printing technology to the fields like millimeter wave technology and providing new manufacturing solutions for future miniaturization, integration, and personalization of electronic devices.
During Nanjia Zhou’s Ph.D. study in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, he also researched printing electronics. In early 2015, he entered Harvard University and joined the group of Professor Jennifer A Lewis. From there, Nanjia Zhou started his research on 3D printing functional optoelectronic devices.
Although 3D printing is a hot topic nowadays, its prospects are beyond our imagination. Nanjia Zhou believes that the future application of 3D printing is far greater than the current use, and it can not only achieve specific structures, but more importantly, can achieve specific functions.
To this end, since joining the School of Engineering of Westlake University in 2018, Nanjia Zhou is also commercializing technology from his lab to bring electronic 3D printing technology to the market.
"While conducting technical research, we also need to show our capabilities, just like opening a door to open up the prospect of electronic 3D printing." Nanjia Zhou said. And his group currently manufactures high-precision electronic devices and flexible wearable devices through 3D printing, and provides electronic 3D printing services to the outside world with the team's professional capabilities.
"As our influence in the market grows, I believe more people will know and finally adopt this technology."