Microtech 2011

Challenges of Modeling Inkjet Systems (invited presentation)

E.P. Furlani
University of Buffalo, US

Keywords: inkjet, modeling


Modern inkjet systems utilize complex microfluidic components with thousands of integrated micro-nozzles that are capable of producing millions of picoliter-sized droplets per second. The droplets are generated with unprecedented uniformity and projected onto a media with remarkable precision to render high resolution images with high throughput. While imaging has been the dominant impetus for the advancement of inkjet systems, this technology is rapidly evolving towards applications in emerging fields such as the printing of functional materials, deposition of biomaterials, production of pharmaceutics and 3D rapid prototyping. The successful development of inkjet systems for existing and especially new applications requires considerable modeling and design in advance of fabrication to reduce the design cycle and significantly, to identify optimum performance parameters. Multiscale and multidisciplinary analysis is needed to understand coupled phenomena that can span the fundamentals of fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, colloidal science, structural analysis, digital electronics and micofabrication, methods and materials. In this presentation we will discuss challenges in the modeling and design of inkjet systems. The topics covered will include droplet generation, free-surface and phase change analysis, fluid-structure interactions, fluidic crosstalk, wetting, heat and mass transport, aerodynamics of droplet transport and complexities of ink media interactions. The discussion will include demonstrations of design simulations.

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