Silicon Micromachined Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) Printhead with Integral Deflection and Guttering

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Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printing technology offers an ideal solution to meet the growing demands of the commercial digital printing market because of its advantages in speed, cost, and reliability. Here we present progress on the development of a new integrated CIJ printhead that can be batch manufactured using standard silicon microfabrication and 3D wafer assembly techniques. The printhead consists of a network of microfluidic channels for drop generation, drop selection, and guttering. The drop generator is a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) fabricated using CMOS-compatible processes. Typical operation of the drop generator involves breakup of a jet stream into small and large drops using thermal stimulation. The drops are then sorted using an air cross-flow, with the small nonprint drops sent to the gutter for recirculation and the large print drops sent to the print media. Laminating individually etched silicon wafers creates the channels for air cross-flow and guttering of the nonprint ink drops. Details on design, fabrication, and characterization of the integrated CIJ printhead are provided, and challenges and future directions are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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