100,000 Dpi Nanoprinting Achieved

Super resolution, full color printing is now be possible with a new nanoplasmonic printing method using aluminum disks that can reach 100,000 dpi.

AsianScientist (Jul 7, 2014) – Super-resolution color printing of up to 100,000 dpi is now possible, thanks to a method developed by scientists in Singapore.

Employing an emerging technology called nanoplasmonics, researchers from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering of A*STAR, the National University of Singapore and the Singapore University of Technology and Design have created a minuscule reproduction of a Claude Monet painting measuring less than 0.3 mm by 0.3 mm, or the width of three hairs. This technology could have widespread applications in product-branding, counterfeiting prevention and data storage.

Up till now, the bottleneck to applications of nanoplasmonics have been the cost of the materials required and the number of colors that it is able to produce. Noble metals such as gold or silver, which are resistant to corrosion or oxidation in air, are typically used. The former has a yellowish tint, and the latter is prone to oxidation and color degradation. The current technology also stops short at reproducing images with the full color palette range. The team managed to solve these problems by using aluminum, a more cost-effective material with no color tinting and natural oxide layer protection against degradation.

In other nanoplasmonic approaches, a pixel is produced by a single nano-disk producing a single color. The research team was able to expand the color range by creating four nano-disks adjacent to each other, placed within an 800 nm x 800 nm area. By manipulating the distance between these disks and the size of each disk, they were able to mix colors within a single pixel, and could therefore expand the number of colors from 15 to more than 300.

The article can be found at: Tan et al. (2014) Plasmonic Color Palettes for Photorealistic Printing with Aluminum Nanostructures.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Nano Letters.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Chandra is an editor working at World Scientific Publishing. He has a PhD in biomaterials engineering.

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