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Addressable multi-nozzle electrohydrodynamic jet printing with high consistency by multi-level voltage method
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It is critical and challenging to achieve the individual jetting ability and high consistency in multi-nozzle electrohydrodynamic jet printing (E-jet printing). We proposed multi-level voltage method (MVM) to implement the addressable E-jet printing using multiple parallel nozzles with high consistency. The fabricated multi-nozzle printhead for MVM consists of three parts: PMMA holder, stainless steel capillaries (27G, outer diameter 400 μm) and FR-4 extractor layer. The key of MVM is to control the maximum meniscus electric field on each nozzle. The individual jetting control can be implemented when the rings under the jetting nozzles are 0 kV and the other rings are 0.5 kV. The onset electric field for each nozzle is ∼3.4 kV/mm by numerical simulation. Furthermore, a series of printing experiments are performed to show the advantage of MVM in printing consistency than the “one-voltage method” and “improved E-jet method”, by combination with finite element analyses. The good dimension consistency (274μm, 276μm, 280μm) and position consistency of the droplet array on the hydrophobic Si substrate verified the enhancements. It shows that MVM is an effective technique to implement the addressable E-jet printing with multiple parallel nozzles in high consistency.
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