Skip to main content Accessibility help

Impulsively actuated jets from thin liquid films for high-resolution printing applications

  • Matthew S. Brown (a1), C. Frederik Brasz (a1), Yiannis Ventikos (a2) and Craig B. Arnold (a1)

Blister-actuated laser-induced forward transfer (BA-LIFT) is a versatile printing technique in which fine jets of ink are ejected from a thin donor film onto an acceptor substrate, enabling high-resolution patterns to be formed. Fluid ejections are initiated by the rapid expansion of micrometre-sized blisters that form on a polymer film underneath the ink layer. Recent work has demonstrated that these ejections exhibit novel flow phenomena due to the unique dimensions and geometry of the BA-LIFT configuration. In this work, we study the dynamics of BA-LIFT printing using a computational model in which fluid is forced by a boundary that deforms according to experimental time-resolved measurements of an expanding blister profile. This allows the model’s predictions to be unambiguously correlated with experimental blister-actuated ejections without any fitting parameters. First, we validate the model’s predictive capabilities against experimental results, including the ability to accurately reproduce the size, shape and temporal evolution of the jet as well as the total volume of ink released. The validated model is then used to interrogate the flow dynamics in order to better understand the mechanisms for fluid ejection. Finally, parametric studies are conducted to investigate the influence of ink density, surface tension, viscosity and film thickness as well as the size of the blister used. These results provide key insights into avenues for optimization and better control of the BA-LIFT process for improved resolution and repeatability of the printed features.

Corresponding author
Email address for correspondence:
Hide All
1. Antkowiak, A., Bremond, N., Le Dizes, S. & Villermaux, E. 2007 Short-term dynamics of a density interface following an impact. J. Fluid Mech. 577, 241250.
2. Arjun, A. & Wan, K. T. 2005 Derivation of the strain energy release rate from first principles for the pressurized blister test. Intl J. Adhes. Adhes. 25 (1), 1318.
3. Arnold, C. B., Kim, H. & Piqué, A. 2004 Laser direct write of planar alkaline microbatteries. Appl. Phys. A-Mater. Sci. Process. 79 (3), 417420.
4. Arnold, C. B., Serra, P. & Piqué, A. 2007 Laser direct-write techniques for printing of complex materials. MRS Bull. 32 (1), 2331.
5. Arnold, C. B., Wartena, R. C., Swider-Lyons, K. E. & Piquéa, A. 2003 Direct-write planar microultracapacitors by laser engineering. J. Electrochem. Soc. 150 (5), A571A575.
6. Barron, J. A., Wu, P., Ladouceur, H. D. & Ringeisen, B. R. 2004 Biological laser printing: a novel technique for creating heterogeneous three-dimensional cell patterns. Biomed. Microdevices 6 (2), 139147.
7. Blake, J. R. & Gibson, D. C. 1987 Cavitation bubbles near boundaries. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 19, 99123.
8. Bohandy, J., Kim, B. F. & Adrian, F. J. 1986 Metal-deposition from a supported metal-film using an excimer laser. J. Appl. Phys. 60 (4), 15381539.
9. Boutopoulos, C., Tsouti, V., Goustouridis, D., Chatzandroulis, S. & Zergioti, I. 2008 Liquid phase direct laser printing of polymers for chemical sensing applications. Appl. Phys. Lett. 93 (19), 191109.
10. Brown, M. S., Kattamis, N. T. & Arnold, C. B. 2010 Time-resolved study of polyimide absorption layers for blister-actuated laser-induced forward transfer. J. Appl. Phys. 107 (8), 083103.
11. Brown, M. S., Kattamis, N. T. & Arnold, C. B. 2011 Time-resolved dynamics of laser-induced micro-jets from thin liquid films. Microfluid Nanofluid 19.
12. Colina, M., Duocastella, M., Fernández-Pradas, J. M., Serra, P. & Morenza, J. L. 2006 Laser-induced forward transfer of liquids: study of the droplet ejection process. J. Appl. Phys. 99 (8), 084909.
13. Colina, M., Serra, P., Fernández-Pradas, J. M., Sevilla, L. & Morenza, J. L. 2005 DNA deposition through laser induced forward transfer. Biosens. Bioelectr. 20 (8), 16381642.
14. Dinca, V., Farsari, M., Kafetzopoulos, D., Popescu, A., Dinescu, M. & Fotakis, C. 2008 Patterning parameters for biomolecules microarrays constructed with nanosecond and femtosecond UV lasers. Thin Solid Films 516 (18), 65046511.
15. Doraiswamy, A., Narayan, R. J., Lippert, T., Urech, L., Wokaun, A., Nagel, M., Hopp, B., Dinescu, M., Modi, R., Auyeung, R. C. Y. & Chrisey, D. B. 2006 Excimer laser forward transfer of mammalian cells using a novel triazene absorbing layer. Appl. Surf. Sci. 252 (13), 47434747.
16. Duchemin, L., Popinet, S., Josserand, C. & Zaleski, S. 2002 Jet formation in bubbles bursting at a free surface. Phys. Fluids 14 (9), 30003008.
17. Duocastella, M., Colina, M., Fernández-Pradas, J. M., Serra, P. & Morenza, J. L. 2007 Study of the laser-induced forward transfer of liquids for laser bioprinting. Appl. Surf. Sci. 253 (19), 78557859.
18. Duocastella, M., Fernández-Pradas, J. M., Morenza, J. L. & Serra, P. 2009 Time-resolved imaging of the laser forward transfer of liquids. J. Appl. Phys. 106 (8), 084907.
19. Eggers, J. 1997 Nonlinear dynamics and breakup of free-surface flows. Rev. Mod. Phys. 69 (3), 865929.
20. Eggers, J. & Dupont, T. F. 1994 Drop formation in a one-dimensional approximation of the Navier–Stokes equation. J. Fluid Mech. 262, 205221.
21. Eggers, J. & Villermaux, E. 2008 Physics of liquid jets. Rep. Prog. Phys. 71 (3), 036601.
22.ESI CFD Inc. (2009) CFD-ACE+ User manual, v2009.2 edition. ESI CFD Inc., 6767 Old Madison Pike, Ste. 600, Huntsville, AL 35806, USA.
23. Gekle, S., Gordillo, J. M., van der Meer, D. & Lohse, D. 2009 High-speed jet formation after solid object impact. Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 (3), 034502.
24. Hirt, C. W. & Nichols, B. D. 1981 Volume of fluid (VOF) method for the dynamics of free boundaries. J. Comput. Phys. 39 (1), 201225.
25. Hopp, B., Smausz, T., Antal, Zs, Kresz, N., Bor, Zs & Chrisey, D. 2004 Absorbing film assisted laser induced forward transfer of fungi (Trichoderma conidia). J. Appl. Phys. 96 (6), 34783481.
26. Hopp, B., Smausz, T., Kresz, N., Barna, N., Bor, Z., Kolozsvari, L., Chrisey, D. B., Szabo, A. & Nogradi, A. 2005 Survival and proliferative ability of various living cell types after laser-induced forward transfer. Tissue Engng 11 (11–12), 18171823.
27. Josserand, C., Lemoyne, L., Troeger, R. & Zaleski, S. 2005 Droplet impact on a dry surface: triggering the splash with a small obstacle. J. Fluid Mech. 524, 4756.
28. Kattamis, N. T., Brown, M. S. & Arnold, C. B. 2011 Finite element analysis of blister formation in laser-induced forward transfer. J. Mater. Res. 26 (18), 24382449.
29. Kattamis, N. T., McDaniel, N. D., Bernhard, S. & Arnold, C. B. 2009 Laser direct write printing of sensitive and robust light emitting organic molecules. Appl. Phys. Lett. 94 (10), 103306.
30. Kattamis, N. T., Purnick, P. E., Weiss, R. & Arnold, C. B. 2007 Thick film laser induced forward transfer for deposition of thermally and mechanically sensitive materials. Appl. Phys. Lett. 91 (17), 171120.
31. Kim, H., Auyeung, R. C. Y. & Piqué, A. 2007 Laser-printed thick-film electrodes for solid-state rechargeable Li-ion microbatteries. J. Power Sources 165 (1), 413419.
32. Kleefsman, K. M. T., Fekken, G., Veldman, A. E. P., Iwanowski, B. & Buchner, B. 2005 A volume-of-fluid based simulation method for wave impact problems. J. Comput. Phys. 206 (1), 363393.
33. Kothe, D. B., Rider, W. J., Mosso, S. J., Brock, J. S. & Hochstein, J. I. 1996 Volume tracking of interfaces having surface tension in two and three dimensions. AIAA Paper, 96-0859.
34. Kyrkis, A. A., Andreadaki, K. D., Papazoglou, D. G. & Zergioti, I. 2006 Recent Advances in Laser Processing of Materials, pp. 213241 Elsevier, chapter 7.
35. Lewis, B. R., Kinzel, E. C., Laurendeau, N. M., Lucht, R. P. & Xu, X. F. 2006 Planar laser imaging and modelling of matrix-assisted pulsed-laser evapouration direct write in the bubble regime. J. Appl. Phys. 100 (3), 033107.
36. Lin, Y. F., Huang, Y. & Chrisey, D. B. 2009 Droplet formation in matrix-assisted pulsed-laser evapouration direct writing of glycerol–water solution. J. Appl. Phys. 105 (9), 093111.
37. Piqué, A., Chrisey, D. B., Auyeung, R. C. Y., Fitz-Gerald, J., Wu, H. D., McGill, R. A., Lakeou, S., Wu, P. K., Nguyen, V. & Duignan, M. 1999 A novel laser transfer process for direct writing of electronic and sensor materials. Appl. Phys. A 69 (7), S279S284.
38. Piqué, A., Chrisey, D. B., Fitz-Gerald, J. M., McGill, R. A., Auyeung, R. C. Y., Wu, H. D., Lakeou, S., Nguyen, V., Chung, R. & Duignan, M. 2000 Direct writing of electronic and sensor materials using a laser transfer technique. J. Mater. Res. 15 (9), 18721875.
39. Piqué, A., Kim, H. & Arnold, C. B. 2006 Laser Ablation and Applications, pp. 339373 Springer, chapter 14.
40. Plateau, J. 1873 Statique Expérimentale et Théorique des Liquides Soumis aux Seules Forces Moléculaires. Gauthier-Villars.
41. Popinet, S. 2009 An accurate adaptive solver for surface-tension-driven interfacial flows. J. Comput. Phys. 228 (16), 58385866.
42. Rayleigh, Lord 1878 On the instability of jets. Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. 10, 413.
43. Rider, W. J., Kothe, D. B., Mosso, S. J., Cerrutti, J. H. & Hochstein, J. I. 1995 Accurate solution algorithms for incompressible multiphase flows. AIAA Paper, 95-0699.
44. Serra, P., Colina, M., Fernández-Pradas, J. M., Sevilla, L. & Morenza, J. L. 2004 Preparation of functional DNA microarrays through laser-induced forward transfer. Appl. Phys. Lett. 85 (9), 16391641.
45. Serra, P., Fernandez-Pradas, J. M., Colina, M., Duocastella, M., Dominguez, J. & Morenza, J. L. 2006 Laser-induced forward transfer: a direct-writing technique for biosensors preparation. J. Laser Micro/Nanoeng. 1 (3), 236242.
46. Sikalo, S., Wilhelm, H. D., Roisman, I. V., Jakirlic, S. & Tropea, C. 2005 Dynamic contact angle of spreading droplets: experiments and simulations. Phys. Fluids 17, 062103.
47. Teng, H., Kinoshita, C. M. & Masutani, S. M. 1995 Prediction of droplet size from the breakup of cylindrical liquid jets. Intl J. Multiphase Flow 21 (1), 129136.
48. Tjan, K. K. & Phillips, W. R. C. 2007 On impulsively generated inviscid axisymmetric surface jets, waves and drops. J. Fluid Mech. 576, 377403.
49. Van Doormaal, J. P. & Raithby, G. D. 1984 Enhancements of the simple method for predicting incompressible fluid flows. Numer. Heat Transfer 7 (2), 147163.
50. van Hoeve, W., Gekle, S., Snoeijer, J. H., Versluis, M., Brenner, M. P. & Lohse, D. 2010 Breakup of diminutive Rayleigh jets. Phys. Fluids 22 (12), 122003.
51. Wartena, R., Curtright, A. E., Arnold, C. B., Piqué, A. & Swider-Lyons, K. E. 2004 Li-ion microbatteries generated by a laser direct-write method. J. Power Sources 126 (1–2), 193202.
52. Webster, R. 1994 An algebraic multigrid solver for Navier–Stokes problems. Intl J. Numer. Meth. Fluids 18, 761780.
53. Wijshoff, H. 2008 Structure- and fluid-dynamics in piezo inkjet printheads. PhD thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, January.
54. Young, D., Auyeung, R. C. Y., Piqué, A., Chrisey, D. B. & Dlott, D. D. 2002 Plume and jetting regimes in a laser based forward transfer process as observed by time-resolved optical microscopy. Appl. Surf. Sci. 197, 181187.
55. Zeff, B. W., Kleber, B., Fineberg, J. & Lathrop, D. P. 2000 Singularity dynamics in curvature collapse and jet eruption on a fluid surface. Nature 403 (6768), 401404.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *

JFM classification

Type Description Title

Brown et al. supplementary movie
Velocity field generated by a rapidly expanding blister formed by a 5.115-μJ laser pulse. The movie shows the behavior of the flow during the first 300 ns of the blister's expansion.

 Unknown (5.6 MB)
5.6 MB

Brown et al. supplementary movie
Velocity field generated by a rapidly expanding blister formed by a 5.115-μJ laser pulse. The movie shows the growth of a free-surface protrusion into a jet, which pinches off a droplet.

 Unknown (27.8 MB)
27.8 MB

Brown et al. supplementary movie
Evolution of tracer particles within the film during a transfer initiated with a 5.115-μJ laser pulse.

 Unknown (5.2 MB)
5.2 MB

Brown et al. supplementary movie
Rendering of simulation results for the ejection of fluid initiated with a 6.1-μJ laser pulse. The jet impacts with the acceptor substrate, leaving a deposited droplet on its surface.

 Unknown (11.5 MB)
11.5 MB
Supplementary materials

Brown et al. supplementary material
Supplementary figure

 PDF (34 KB)
34 KB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed