High-performance Composite Nanomaterials via 3D Nanoprinting

National Laboratory: 
Argonne National Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Mechanical Behavior of Materials
Non-destructive examination

We are able to design and manufacture ultra-strong, lightweight composite materials with physical and mechanical properties on demand. The internal structure is designed digitally, according to the requirements on strength/weight. Then, it is manufactured via three-dimensional (3D) nanoprinting using the two-photon polymerization technique. The strength of printed materials may increase significantly by thermal decomposition of cured photoresist into glassy carbon. As a result, we are able to manufacture ultra-strong, lightweight nanolattice (feature size ~40 nanometers) with the required strength/weight ratio.

Capability Bounds: 

Currently, the 3D nanoprinter can create the structure (line by line) at speeds up to 40 mm/second. A small sample (~1 mm3) may be printed within minutes. In the future, speed may be significantly increased.

Unique Aspects: 

As a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, Argonne has all of the necessary resources and facilities (Materials Science Division [MSD], Center for Nanoscale Materials, Advanced Photon Source) to model, fabricate, and characterize composite nanomaterials. The microstructures will be printed in ANL-MSD on the recently acquired 3D lithography system, Photonic Professional GT, manufactured by Nanoscribe.


There are no significant limitations on availability.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Dr. Andrey Sokolov
Title: Assistant Scientist, Materials Science Division
Email: sokolov@anl.gov
Phone: 630-252-6211

  1. Bauer, J., et al. 'Approaching theoretical strength in glassy carbon nanolattices.' Nature Materials (2016).
Supporting Document(s): 

This capability is a user facility managed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. Each user facility has established processes for submitting a proposal and gaining access. Visit http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/user-resources/getting-started for more information.