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Study and Stabilization of a Liquid Crystal Drop Formation Using a Piezoelectric Inkjet Printhead

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The development of inkjet printing processes is in great expansion for the fabrication of Microsystems thanks to less material waste and accurate dot placement. The quality of drop formation is known to depend on two main parameters: fluid viscosity and piezoactuator applied voltage. We are working with the thermotropic liquid crystal E7 which presents a nematic oriented phase for a temperature under 60°C and an isotropic phase above 60°C. Like other liquids, viscosity of thermotropic liquid crystals decreases with the temperature but presents a discontinuity at the phase transition, which can disturb the stability of drop ejection. Unfortunately, for the E7 liquid crystal, the piezoprinthead viscosity specifications (usually under 15cP) require a temperature increase close to the temperature transition. Thus, understanding the influence of phase transition on drop characteristics is crucial. Moreover, the applied voltage can be responsible for an electrical field perpendicular to the liquid movements, which can trouble the orientation of nematic phase molecules, change its apparent viscosity and alter the ejection process. In order to understand these phenomena, the influences of viscosity and applied voltage will be studied and discussed. An adjustment tool will be finally proposed to fit with experimental results and to reach finally stable formation of liquid crystal drops.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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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