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Title: Room temperature 3D carbon microprinting

Manufacturing custom three-dimensional (3D) carbon functional materials is of utmost importance for applications ranging from electronics and energy devices to medicine, and beyond. In lieu of viable eco-friendly synthesis pathways, conventional methods of carbon growth involve energy-intensive processes with inherent limitations of substrate compatibility. The yearning to produce complex structures, with ultra-high aspect ratios, further impedes the quest for eco-friendly and scalable paths toward 3D carbon-based materials patterning. Here, we demonstrate a facile process for carbon 3D printing at room temperature, using low-power visible light and a metal-free catalyst. Within seconds to minutes, this one-step photocatalytic growth yields rod-shaped microstructures with aspect ratios up to ~500 and diameters below 10 μm. The approach enables the rapid patterning of centimeter-size arrays of rods with tunable height and pitch, and of custom complex 3D structures. The patterned structures exhibit appealing luminescence properties and ohmic behavior, with great potential for optoelectronics and sensing applications, including those interfacing with biological systems.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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