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Dielectric properties of three-dimensional printed polylactic acid

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: 3D printers constitute a rapidly growing global market. These printers are usually used in research and development related to engineering or architecture, especially for structural components or rapid prototyping. Recently, great progress has been made in the materials available for enhanced printing systems, making it possible to add-on manufacture of complex functional products such as batteries or electronic products. Polymer polylactic acid (PLA) plays an important role in molten filament manufacturing. Molten filament manufacturing technology is used in commercial low-cost 3D printers. This printing technology is an economical tool for developing functional components or enclosures of electronic products, such as for laboratory purposes. Here, we study whether the material property of "printed " PLA is fabriated by a commercially available 3D printer, are suitable to be used in electrical measurement setups or even as a functional material itself in electronic devices. For this reason, we conduct differential scanning calorimetry measurements and a thorough temperature and frequency-dependent analysis of its dielectric properties. These results are compared to partially crystalline and completely amorphous PLA, indicating that the dielectric properties of “as-printed” PLA are similar to the latter. Finally, we demonstrate that the conductivity of PLA can be enhanced by mixing it with the ionic liquid “trihexyl tetradecyl phosphonium decanoate.” This provides a route to tailor PLA for complex functional products produced by an economical fused filament fabrication.

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