A New Dimension in INKJET Printing
Posted by evolvingwheel on September 21, 2007
I am fanatically inclined towards technologies or scientific ideas that try to change an existing concept from inside out. Even thought it might not sound that revolutionary, but the change in the way of thinking through a process is remarkably reflected in the development of nanoscale inkjet printing. John Rogers, a professor of engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, has come up with a concept of inkjet printing that is capable of printing dots of materials just 250 nanometers in diameter. The possible applications of this technology will be in nanomaterial printing for plastic electronics and biomedical sensors. Recently, revolutionary developments are taking place in the nanomaterial domain. Any mass scale printing ability for these nano small compounds on films, ceramic sheets, and plastics will positively be a market winner.
The coolest part of this invention is the way the small droplets are extracted from the nozzle and laid out on the terget substrate. In regular inkjet printers, droplets of the order of micrometers are either pushed out by pressure or by heat from the nozzle. However, in nanoscale engineering, static forces and hydrodynamics of fluids come into play and distort the accuracy of printing. The inventors replaced the concept of PUSH with PULL. An electric field from the bottom (substrate) generates enough force to draw the fluid from the nozzle and make a cone tip. This helps to steer the material towards the exact target spot – a great innovation.
The developers are now working on enhancing the speed of printing. With perseverance and further engineering manipulations, this process can reach industry level efficiency in the near future. Could this be a replacement for the silicon fabrication technology in the coming future?
Read the [article] here.
Click [here] for John Rogers nanoresearch.
Picture Courtesy: UIUC