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Indian scientists develop low cost synthesis method for silver nanowires

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) A team of Indian scientists and research students have developed a process for large-scale manufacturing of nano-materials (silver nanowires) that can bring down the costs to less than one-tenth of the market price, an official statement said on Friday.

Synthesis of one-dimensional nanomaterials such as nanowires, nanotubes, and so on, in large quantities is technologically challenging and hence, makes it an expensive material. Secondly, it is necessary to get uniform nanowire diameter range with a narrow variation in the length as it helps achieve uniform coating for touch screens or other conducting coating applications.

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A process developed by Dr Amol A. Kulkarni from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, can produce silver nanowires at the scale of 500 grams per day at the cost of $20/ gm when compared to $250/gm to $400/gm market price, a Department of Science and Technology statement said.

It is an economical process of continuous flow manufacturing of functional nano-materials at a large scale with support from the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Programme of the Department, it said.

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The product manufactured consists of silver nanowires possessing excellent conductivity, which can be used in making conducting inks and coatings for display technologies and flexible electronics. A total of five national and international patents have also been filed for the novel process.

The process is a simple, cost-effective, and scalable through synthesis route when compared to existing batch manufacturing protocols that even generate large amounts of nanoparticles in suspension, which is not easy to separate from nanowires. The developed process has been tested at the CSIR-NCL’s characterisation facility and is in stage eight of the Technology Readiness Level.

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The CSIR-NCL has licensed the process technology to Nanorbital Advanced Materials LLP (Ahmedabad) in November 2020 and has signed material transfer agreement with three more industries in 2021. Kulkarni plans to further conduct testing of the developed nanomaterial in different display devices for transparent conducting applications as well as for printing of flexible electronics, including wearable electrodes.

This technology can make the Indian industries enter into the niche area of electronic chemicals and eventually open up new jobs, the release added.

–IANS

niv/vd

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