The microfluidic Liquid Jet printing concept was inspired by the observation of stable fluid jets commonly seen in nature. Examples of microfluidic fluid transport and microfluidic liquid jets are prevalent in nature. Over 40,000 species of web-spinning spiders exist, and spin silk fibers from pressurized abdominal sacs containing a polymer solution. The jet dries in-flight to diameters of approximately 2 to 4 microns. The IDS concept produces a stable co-axial liquid jet by maintaining a constant pressure within a microfluidic flow cell.
A polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) test ink with an aqueous dye is used to characterize the Liquid Jet process and apparatus. Profiles of PVP traces show single-pass line widths of 30 microns and line heights between 0.5 and 2 microns.