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Electrophotography as a Means of Nanofabrication: The Role of Electrodynamic and Electrostatic Forces

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Recently, nanofabrication has become an extensive research topic and, as a consequence, an eminent goal of industry. While at this time nanofabrication technology is, generally speaking, a goal rather than a defined manufacturing process, nanofabrication has been in existence, at least in one area for a considerable time. For example, electrophotography could be considered a nanofabrication process since it produces documents and images by precisely placing large numbers (often exceeding 1010 per 8 ½ × 11 inch page) of micrometer-size pigmented particles, usually referred to as toner particles, in specific sites, whereby each site has a diameter of the order of 20 μm or less, at process speeds that can exceed 75 cm/s. If the toner particles are not precisely placed, the image generated by these particles will lack resolution or sharpness, will exhibit shifts in color balance, will have an increase in grain or background, etc. In order to achieve an accurate placement of the particles onto the receiver, a precise balance of adhesion or electrodynamic forces and electrostatic forces has to be achieved between the toner particles and the chosen substrates during the entire image-forming process. The forces controlling the motion and precise location of the micrometer-size toner particles in the electrophotographic process, as an example of nanofabrication, are described in this paper. We also demonstrate in this paper how nanofabrication can be correlated to an electrophotographic process in a general sense and illustrate this concept with several examples. Finally, the physics and engineering associated with extending this technology into the process of fabricating microscopic components and devices are explored in this paper.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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  • 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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