Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Nanowire placement with ink jet heads



Kristine A. Bertness, Christopher M. Dodson, Paul T. Blanchard, Norman Sanford, Ross N. Mills


We show that thermal ink jet printheads can be used to place GaN nanowires on patterned substrates. The semiconductor nanowires have diameters ranging from 70 to 300 nm and lengths from 5 υm to 20 υm. They were dispersed in alcohol-water solutions for loading into ink reservoirs. To avoid clogging, the thermal ink jet heads were chosen with drop weights from 72 to 165 ng. The thermal ink jet method was successfully used to place nanowires across narrow gaps in metal patterns. When using a low-power optical microscope to align the nozzle with substrate pattern features, the placement accuracy is much higher than with micropipette placement. For unknown reasons, nanowires would not pass through piezoelectric ink jet heads. These experiments demonstrate that ink jet technology holds promise for low-cost, rapid, massively parallel placement and processing of nanowires for optoelectronic, electronic, and sensor applications.
Proceedings Title
Digital Fabrication 2007
Conference Dates
September 16-21, 2007
Conference Location
Anchorage, AK, USA


ink jet printing, nanostructure placement, nanowires


Bertness, K. , Dodson, C. , Blanchard, P. , Sanford, N. and Mills, R. (2007), Nanowire placement with ink jet heads, Digital Fabrication 2007, Anchorage, AK, USA, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created September 15, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021