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Analysis of Formation of an Individual Droplet using a High-Resolution Multi-Exposure Imaging System

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Localized dispensing of precious functional materials has attracted considerable interest in the academic as well as the industrial society. While the number of publications show numerous fields of applications in printed electronics, photovoltaics, display technologies and thin functional coatings, the transition into the industrial sector is often hindered by challenges resulting from ink-printhead combinations and their implications on reliability and stability of the process, as well as side-effects such as mist accumulation in heavy duty printing equipment.

While measuring equipment to quantify various rheological and interfacial parameters foor fluid optimization has been developed with the accompanying mathematical models, the physical jetting experiment as well as high-duty printing trials cannot yet be substituted by these methods. In order to quantify the generation of a droplet alongside with its tailing behavior and mist formation as well as statistics based on cross-talk effects and relaxation-related effects, high-resolution and high-speed imaging are required.

This paper examines the optical setup and outlines the required calculations for establishing sharp, high-resolution images using a combination of a high power laser diode with a resonant MEMS micro mirror with a theoretical resolution of 1.8 μm. The limitations of the setup regarding the achievable resolution as well as potential improvements are assessed. Furthermore, the experimental setup, including repetitive generation of nanosecond-pulses necessary for motion-blur-free images, will be discussed. Additionally, results from imaging a droplet formation process using a Xaar 126 printhead are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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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