Direct Write Printing of Silver Nanoparticle Impregnated Polymer Matrices

Posted on: January 24, 2013   |   Category: Participant Spotlights
Direct Write 1


This research has focused on the development and direct write printing of thin polymer films impregnated with silver and upconverting nanoparticles. Such thin polymer films could be used for luminescent solar concentrators, as well as having possible applications in security printing and energy harvesting.

Background/ explanation:

Current research is focused on the phenomena of the silver nanoparticles and their dispersion in the polymer matrix following direct write printing. When deposited onto a glass substrate, the silver nanoparticles form a “frosting” layer on top of the polymer, as seen in the accompanying figure. In various incident angles of light, the printed, nanoparticle-containing polymer film behaves differently. For certain angles, the printed film is transparent; while at other incident angles, a reflective “mirror-like” surface is observed. For luminescent solar concentrator applications, rare earth-doped nanoparticles are direct write printed with the silver nanoparticles. At specific concentrations and distances from one another, the silver nanoparticles enhance the upconversion of near-infrared light by the rare earth-doped nanoparticles.


Fratured surface of polymer on glass substrate. Lighter colored regions indicate agglomerations of silver nanoparticles, while darker regions are polymer matrix. In this sample there are (3) printed layers using direct write printing as seen by the shelving throughout the depth of the polymer film.