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Experimental investigation of the impact, spreading and drying of picolitre droplets onto substrates with a broad range of wettabilities

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The effect of the substrate wettability on the deposition of picolitre droplets by drop-on-demand technology is investigated experimentally. Substrates with a broad range of wettabilities are considered with contact angles ranging from 19° for water on glass to 118° for water on a super-hydrophobic plasma-treated glass slide.

Droplet profiles are recorded using high-speed imaging. The effect of surface wettability on the drying of water droplets is investigated and compared with models and experiments from the literature. Results are presented for picolitre droplets and experimental conditions relevant to inkjet printing. The cases of the pinned contact line and the moving one with a constant contact angle are both addressed.

For colloidal fluids, the formation of the deposit is further investigated using an inverted microscope coupled to a particle-tracking velocimetry system. This experimental technique allows us to track individual solute particles during the various stages of the deposition. Preliminary results show the promise of this technique for characterizing internal flows within the droplet.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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