Many components turn one drop of ink into a highly complex, technical structure. Some of the components of pigment inks include: Colour pigments, tenside adhesion promoters, functional (nano) particles, dispersion agents, binding agents, rheology and other additives.
In pigmented inks, a carrier fluid (oil, solvent or water) contains colour pigments that do not dissolve. Typically, pigment inks contain between 3 and 5 percent by weight of colour pigments. Pigment inks are preferred for industrial applications because they have greater outdoor durability and UV resistance than dye inks.
Nanoparticle special inks can contain inorganic pigments (e.g. titanium dioxide, carbon black, iron oxide, etc.) or organic ones (e.g. azo or polycyclic pigments). In addition to the pigments, it is possible to introduce functional nanoparticles in inks too. In this connection, the dimensions of the suspended particles are in the range 10 nm to 1000 nm. Nanomaterials include nanosilver, nanocarbons, titanium dioxide, iron oxide and nanoclays to name just a few. Various areas of application are possible depending on the nanomaterial that is used: decorative, optical, conductive and fluorescing applications right up to magnetic ones.
In addition to special inks being used for printed electronics, the field of decoration will be an important application. Here, it is possible to use nanoparticle inks to change the optical impression that products make or modify their feel. The nanoInk network unites partners with high levels of expertise in synthesising and functionalising nanomaterials with those from the field of ink formulation and processing using appropriate dispersion processes. In an interdisciplinary approach, stakeholders from all the downstream links in the value chain are already being included in the development of special inks. The inspiration from a wide variety of different areas are channelled on the network and leads to new applications and products for industry and end users.