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Improved e-jet printing provides higher resolution and more versatility
Date:9/6/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. By combining electrically induced fluid flow with nanoscale nozzles, researchers at the University of Illinois have established new benchmarks for precision control and resolution in jet-printing processes.

We have invented methods for an electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing process that can produce patterns and functional devices that establish new resolution benchmarks for liquid printing, significantly exceeding those of established ink-jet technologies, said John Rogers, a Founder Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and corresponding author of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature Materials, and posted on its Web site.

This type of e-jet printing could be used for large-area circuits, displays, photovoltaic modules and related devices, as well as other wide-ranging application possibilities in security, biotechnology and photonics, Rogers said.

The success of this effort relied critically on an interdisciplinary team of materials scientists, chemists, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and physicists within the universitys Center for Nanoscale Chemical Electrical Mechanical Manufacturing Systems, a nanoscale science and engineering center funded by the National Science Foundation.

As an industrial process, this work opens up the possibility for low-cost and high-performance printed electronics and other systems that involve materials that cannot be manipulated with more common patterning methods derived from microelectronics fabrication, said Placid Ferreira, the Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering, the director of the center and a key member of the team.

The neat thing is that we find that this extremely high-resolution form of e-jet printing can also be used for diverse systems, such as printing microarrays of DNA spots for bioanalysis, or printing carbon nanotubes and other classes of nanomaterials that are difficult to pattern in
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Contact: James E. Kloeppel
kloeppel@uiuc.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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