This week Nano Dimension Technologies announced that it had filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a proprietary copper ink that is used for printing electronic conductors.
The copper nanoparticle-based ink provides improved oxidation resistance with the ability to print copper with industrial 3D digital printers.
Copper, of course, is an electrically conductive metal, and its low price gives it a significant advantage when compared to silver (although copper is more electrically resistive than silver). However, copper nanoparticles rapidly oxidize upon contact with air that impairs electrical conductivity.
The patent application that the company has filed is an approach for overcoming the problem of copper nanoparticle oxidation. Overcoming this challenge introduces an effective and less costly method for industrial additive manufacturing of printed electronics by 3D printing.
Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension, said, “Our conversations with companies across different industrial sectors indicate a strong demand for our 3D printed electronics technology. The demand is not limited to prototyping, but also includes industrial scale manufacturing applications.
The current global PCB market is estimated to be larger than $70 billion and is expected to reach about $100 billion in coming years. A high-performance copper nanoparticle ink presents an opportunity to significantly impact this huge market.”