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Finite element analysis of blister formation in laser-induced forward transfer

  • Nicholas T. Kattamis (a1), Matthew S. Brown (a1) and Craig B. Arnold (a1)

Blister-actuated laser-induced forward transfer (BA-LIFT) is a direct-write technique, which enables high-resolution printing of sensitive inks for electronic or biological applications. During BA-LIFT, a polymer laser-absorbing layer deforms into an enclosed blister and ejects ink from an adjacent donor film. In this work, we develop a finite element model to replicate and predict blister expansion dynamics during BA-LIFT. Model inputs consist of standard mechanical properties, strain-rate-dependent material parameters, and a parameter encapsulating the thermal and optical properties of the film. We present methods to determine these material parameters from experimental measurements. The simulated expansion dynamics are shown to be in good agreement with experimental measurements using two different polymer layer thicknesses. Finally, the ability to model high-fluence blister rupture is demonstrated through a strain-based failure approach.

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