Nano-Lab nanotube ink
  Home About Us Resources Products Services Contact US
Nanotube Ink
The NanoLab "Nink" products are carbon nanotube inks for direct printing of nanotube electronics and sensors.
This ink contains carboxyl (COOH) functionalized carbon nanotubes in an aqueous suspension with the minimum concentration of additives to impart long term stability and printability to the ink.
NanoLab produces two types of ink, Nink-1000 (multiwall carbon nanotube ink) and Nink-1100 (single wall carbon nanotube ink).
NanoLab formulated Nink to be printable using Fuji's Dimatix TM series printers.

For the electrical properties of Ninks, click here
Important tips on printing with Nink, click here

We sell the NINK refill kits only, so you can fill a Dimatix print head with our Nink. Refill kits: including 100ml Nink, a syringe and a needle.
Nink-1000 multiwall carbon nanotube ink refill kit $250
Nink-1100 single wall carbon nanotube ink refill kit $300

Electrical Properties

1.5 inch squares of Nink were printed using an HP Deskjet 960C onto overhead transparency film and also onto standard copier paper (20 lb). The following sheet resistance data is an average of 5 pages, measured after each printing and a 2 minute drying step at 80C.

Test setup
We loosely followed ASTM D-254 in the measurement of the sheet resistance. We prepared a 1" square test fixture, consisting of two brass contacts, separated by a 1" square insulator, as shown below. The fixture was firmly held against the printed sheet, and resistance was measured using a Keithley Sourcemeter 2400.
Test Setup   
MWNT Nink ohm per square results    SWNT Nink ohm per square results Test Results
The resistance of the carbon nanotube deposit printed on both the paper is plotted against the number of printing times. On paper, the first printing results in a deposit that is below the percolation threshold. Electrical resistance drops with the number of additional prints, as the layer of nanotubes increases in thickness. Depending on the printer uniformity, fine features may become blurred by multiple prints.

As of 2013, the HP 45 print cartridge is gradually being discontinued by HP. Newer cartridges have "refill protection" features. Customers have also reported success with our Nink and the Fuji Dimatix line of printers. The HP45 cartridge is used in the following HP printers:

HP Deskjet printers
HP Deskjet 1600CN
HP Deskjet 1220C and 1220C/PS professional series
HP Deskjet 1120Cxi professional series
HP Deskjet 1000C series
HP Deskjet 970C, 960C, 950C, and 930C series
HP Deskjet 890C, 880C, 870C, 855C, 830C, and 820C series
HP Deskjet 720C, and 710C series

Color multifunction products
HP Officejet R40xi printer/copier/scanner
HP Officejet R80xi print/fax/copy/scanner
HP Officejet T45xi all-in-one
HP Officejet R60
HP Officejet T65xi printer/fax/copier/scanner
HP Officejet G95, G85xi, and G55xi series
HP Officejet Pro 1170 and 1175 series
HP Officejet Pro 1150C
HP Designjet 700, 750C, and 755CM
HP Designjet 750C Plus

Personal copiers
HP Color Copier 260
HP Color Copier 280
HP Color Copier 180
HP Color Copier 160

HP Photosmart
HP Photosmart P1100xi printer
HP Photosmart P1218xi printer

Tips and Notes on using Nink

Cleaning procedure:
In formulating Nink, we opted to keep additives at a minimum, so that the electrical properties of the nanotubes would be maximized. The ink suspension is stable, but Nink lacks the humectants and other additives found in standard printing inks. As such, Nink cartridges should be cleaned before and after use.
Dip the print head into a deionized water bath for ~30 seconds, then blot dry with a paper towel. An ultrasonic bath may also be used. HP has directions for cleaning its cartridges, and these can generally be followed.

  • Click
  • Enter your product model (select your printer model), e.g. DeskJet 960cse, and click NEXT.
  • Click on “How to use”.
  • Click on "Cleaning and maintenance", e.g. XP
  • Click "Cleaning and maintenance the xxx series printer". Then following the instruction

  • Installation and Printing
    After installing the cartridge, it is useful to ‘prime’ the cartridge. This is a setting that can be found in the printer preferences window, accessed by right clicking on the printer icon.

    Drivers for printing Nink
    Some color DeskJet printers use both the black cartridge and the color cartridge when printing black. This is an option that can be turned off, but only if the full featured drivers are installed.

    Please download the most up to date, full featured driver for your printer from HP.
  • Click
  • Enter your product model (select your printer model), e.g. DeskJet 960cse, and click NEXT.
  • Click on “software and driver downloads”.
  • Click on your operating system, e.g. XP
  • Lastly, download the “Full Feature Driver” for your printer.
  • Once the new driver is installed, turn off the composite black option. For the HP 960C DeskJet printer, the printing process was set to “grayscale” and the ‘black only’ option was selected in the printer properties window. Some printers can operate in ‘reserve’ mode, where the color cartridge can be removed from the printer to avoid this problem.

  • Storage, print count and shelf life
    Storage in a zip-closure plastic bag at room temperature is recommended. The Nink cartridge should have a shelf life greater than one year if the storage conditions are met. NanoLab estimates that the ‘45’ cartridge should print at least 800 sheets before becoming depleted.

    Faced with the discontinuation of the HP45 cartridge and the fact that all new printers have an anti-refilling 'feature', NanoLab developed an alternative delivery system for the Nink. The Nink pen contains the Nink, and enables free hand deposition or the use of a plotter style device. We recommend the Shapeoko 2 desktop CNC unit, modified for Nink use. That device is pictured below. It can be purchased at:

    We designed a pen holder for the Nink-pen. That file is available if you want to download it and 3D print it yourself. If not, you can purchase one for $5 when you buy Nink. The Nink pen kit contains ~5ml of Nink, and comes with a 40ml vial of extra ink so you can refill these pens yourself. Refilling is easy, they simply unscrew, but be aware of the left hand thread.

    Writing code for the Shapeoko is easy. There are a number of translators for G Code (GRBL). If you'd like some sample code, give us a call.
    The page is updated on 10/24/2013