Available Technology

Gradient Composition Glass prepared with Direct Ink Writing

Conventionally, gradients in material compositions are introduced either (1) axially, by fusing together multiple layers containing uniform composition, or (2) radially, by diffusing species (typically small, fast diffusing ions) into or out of rod-shaped silica sol-gels or solids at elevated temperatures. Unfortunately, diffusion-based gradients are limited to symmetric, parabolic profiles and have maximum achievable diameters (in the case of gradient refractive index lenses) of ~20 mm, with most commercial versions being
Patent Abstract: 
LLNL researchers have developed a method for fabricating active or passive optical glass components, non-optical glass components, and/or glass sensors with custom material composition profiles in 1-, 2-, or 3-dimensions. In this method, DIW additive manufacturing technique is used to print filaments of a rheologically-tuned ink--containing a glass forming species--into a loosely bound, amorphous, low density form (LDF), analogous to a green body in ceramics.
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