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Directional self-cleaning surface design for ink jetting devices

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Functional surfaces with self-cleaning property are highly desirable in many applications in the printing industry. One of the challenges in fluid ink jet systems is ink wetting and drooling onto the printhead front face. The contamination of the printhead front face leads to missing drops, wrong-sized drops, mis-directionality, and satellite drops resulting in degraded print quality. In this study, we report the creation of textured surfaces on Si wafer by photolithography, followed by chemical modification, that leads to superoleophobic, directional self-cleaning surfaces. We systematically investigate its wetting and adhesion properties with water, hexadecane and Xerox solid ink using static and dynamic contact angle measurement techniques. The textured surfaces are made of micro grooves which demonstrate interesting anisotropic wetting behavior. In the direction parallel to the grooves, low surface tension testing liquids show very low sliding angle (i.e. directional self-cleaning) which is a key enabler for the selfcleaning effect and maintenance free printhead.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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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