Precision inkjetting through optimal control

Physical Sciences : Mechanical

Available for non-exclusive licensing

Inventors

  • S.V. Sreenivasan, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
  • Brent Snyder , Nascent
  • Miaomiao Yang , Nascent
  • Shrawan Singhal, Ph.D. , NASCENT
  • Ovadia Abed, Ph.D. , NASCENT & Microelectronics Research Ctr.

Background/unmet need

Inkjetting is a complex phenomenon involving several different physical processes interacting together. There are a variety of types of inkjet devices that use different mechanisms for inkjetting. For example, inkjet devices may include print heads using piezoelectric, thermal, electro-hydrodynamic, or other suitable mechanisms.

Piezoelectric inkjets use a piezoelectric element to very accurately control the amount of ink supplied to the nozzle. This creates optimal ink usage as well as longer performance life and droplet size precision.

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a method for precision inkjet printing that includes determining an actuation parameter associated with a pressure waveform. Based on the pressure waveform, the method also includes actuating a print head to eject a droplet from a nozzle and acquiring an image of the droplet. The method further includes processing the acquired image to estimate a volume and a velocity of the droplet and based on the estimated volume and velocity of the droplet and a target volume and velocity, adjusting the acquisition parameter.

Benefits/Advantages

  • Automatic optimization of complex inkjet actuation waveforms
  • High inkject droplet resolution while maintaining droplet placement accuracy

Features

  • Fine-tuning of drop volume for inkjet-inkjet calibration
  • Jetting fluids of challenging rheologies
  • The simplest way to decrease droplet size is to decrease orifice diameter, which is easily done with piezoelectronics.

Market potential/applications

 Inkjet devices manufacturers

IP Status

  • 1 foreign patent application filed
  • 1 U.S. patent application filed