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Micromachined Piezoelectrically Actuated Flextensional Transducers For High Resolution Printing

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In this paper, we present a technique for the deposition of inks, toners, organic polymers, fuels, small solid particles, biological and chemical fluids, using a fluid ejector. The ejector design is based on a flextensional transducer that excites the axisymmetric resonant modes of a clamped circular plate. It is constructed by depositing a thin piezoelectric annular plate onto a thin, edge clamped, circular plate. Liquids or solid-particles are placed behind one face of the plate which has a small orifice at its center. By applying an ac signal across the piezoelectric element, continuous or drop-on-demand ejection of fluids has been achieved. The ejected drop size ranges in diameter from 4 μm at 3.5 MHz to 150 μm at 7 kHz, the corresponding ejected drop volume ranges from 34 fl to 1.5 nl, and the corresponding flow rate ranges from 117 nl/s to 10 μl/s. The unique features of the device are that the fluid is not pressurized, the fluid container is chemically or biologically compatible with most fluids, and the vibrating plate contains the orifice as the ejection source. The device is manufactured by silicon surface micromachining and implemented in the form of two-dimensional arrays. Individual elements are made of thin silicon nitride membranes covered by a coating of piezoelectric zinc oxide. Classical thin plate theory and Mindlin plate theory are applied to derive two-dimensional plate equations for the transducer, and to calculate the coupled electromechanical field variables such as mechanical displacement and electrical input impedance. In these methods, the variations across the thickness direction vanish by using the bending moments per unit length or stress resultants. Thus, two-dimensional plate equations for a step-wise laminated circular plate are obtained as well as two different solutions to the corresponding systems. An equivalent circuit of the transducer is also obtained from these solutions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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