Producing Small Drops with Drop-on-Demand Dispenser

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Microfabrication of electronic and mechanical structures is typically a time consuming and expensive process because of the complicated optical lithography system. Fabricating process patterns using small fluidic droplets generated from Drop-on-Demand (DOD) inkjet devices, similar to commercial inkjet printers, could be an attractive alternative. Existing inkjet printheads have a limited number of inkjet devices, which generate droplets on the scale of tens of microns.

Purdue University researchers have developed a monolithic inkjet printhead for maskless lithography based on silicon micromachining technology. Stable generation of water droplets down to 3.5 microns, a tenfold reduction, has been achieved and theoretical analysis supports droplet dimensions extending to the nanoscale, a hundredfold reduction. Writing process patterns directly on a substrate with small liquid droplets generated by a DOD inkjet device offers a low cost, non-contact, low temperature, flexible, data-driven patterning approach.

The printhead technology can form the basis of a maskless lithography system with moderate throughput for building micro- and nanoscale electronic circuits and MEMS devices. This technology has applications from inkjet printing to companies that work with DNA arrays to LED manufacturing.

Advantages:
-Low cost manufacturing
-Low temperature applications

Potential Applications:
-Lithography system
-Electronic circuits and MEMS devices
-Inkjet printing
-DNA arrays
-LED manufacturers
Mar 16, 2009
Utility Patent
United States
8,186,790
May 29, 2012

Mar 14, 2008
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)

Mar 16, 2007
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486
Email: otcip@prf.org