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Femtoliter droplets captured in flight

In this new publication in Physical Review Applied we report on the ultra high-speed recording of femtoliter satellite droplets that are formed from the breakup of the secondary tail ligament of inkjet droplets that detach from the meniscus. The formation of primary picoliter satellite droplets is prevented through the use of special piezo driving waveforms, that give the tail a kickstart to merge with the head of the droplet. However, such a high velocity of the tail creates a thin secondary tail that breaks up and forms small femtoliter droplets which may contaminate the printer. Here, we present solutions to mitigate this problem, that relate to the stability of the secondary tail that decreases with a decrease in stretching rate and ink viscosity.

Secondary tail formation and breakup in piezo-acoustic inkjet printing: femtoliter droplets captured in flight.

Arjan Fraters, Roger Jeurissen, Marc van den Berg, Hans Reinten, Herman Wijshoff, Detlef Lohse, Michel Versluis, and Tim Segers.

Phys. Rev. Appl. 13, 024075 (2020).

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