2, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
3, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, United States
4, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States
We have developed silica inks that may be three-dimensionally (3D) printed and thermally processed to produce optically transparent glass structures with sub-millimeter features in forms ranging from scaffolds to monoliths. The inks are composed of silica nanoparticles suspended in a liquid and are assembled using direct ink writing (DIW). The assembled structures are then dried and sintered at temperatures well below the silica melting point to form amorphous, solid, transparent glass structures. This technique enables the mold-free formation of transparent glass structures previously inaccessible using conventional glass fabrication processes.
This work was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 within the LDRD program. LLNL-ABS-733253.