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Monday, 19 May 2014

Plast4Future awarded as “Best on-going EC FP7 project” at the Industrial Technologies 2014 Conference and Exhibition

The project, with ICN2 as one of its partners, develops a technology which enables functionality of plastic surfaces by topography instead of chemistry

The EU project Plast4Future (FP7/2007-2013- n° 314345) was awarded as “Best on-going EC FP7 project”, and received the price as “Best Exhibitor". This initiative, led by the Technical University of Denmark and with ICN2 as one of its partners, is developing a technology which enables functionality of plastic surfaces by topography instead of chemistry. The award was announced during the Industrial Technologies 2014 Conference and Exhibition, in Athens- Greece 9-11 April.

The objective of the project is to upgrade existing injection moulding production technology for manufacture of plastic components by enhancing the lateral resolution on free-form surfaces down to micro- and nanometer length scales. This will be achieved through the development of a complete nanoimprint lithography solution for structuring the free-form surface of injection moulding tools and tool inserts. This will enable a cost effective and flexible nanoscale manufacturing process that can easily be integrated with conventional mass production lines.

ICN2 Nanofabrication Division, led by Dr Nikos Kehagias, and the Phononic and Photonic nanostructures (P2N) Group, led by ICREA Prof Dr Clivia Sotomayor, jointly participate in the Plast4Future project. ICN2 researchers have developed a novel nano fabrication method to generate metal nano structures on metal steel inserts. These nano patterned steel inserts are placed within an injection moulding tool, allowing the generation and replication of thousands of functionalised plastic components.

ICN2’s nano- manufacturing approach is based on reversal nanoimprint lithography techniques and Nickel electroplating. The unique feature of this fabrication method is the possibility of imprinting nano-scale polymeric structures with no residual layer and additionally structuring curved surfaces. By this ways tailored functional surfaces have been realised and a proof of concept of water repellent (super-hydrophobic) nano-patterned surfaces has been demonstrated.