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Charged Satellite Drop Avoidance in Electrohydrodynamic Dripping

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micromachines-10-00172-v2.pdf

Abstract:

The quality of electrohydrodynamic jet (e-jet) printing is crucially influenced by the satellite
drop formed when the primary drop detaches from the meniscus. If the satellite drop falls onto
the substrate, the patterns on the substrate will be contaminated. The electric charge carried by the
satellite drop leads to more complex satellite/meniscus interaction than that in traditional inkjet
printing. Here, we numerically study the formation and flight behavior of the charged satellite
drop. This paper discovered that the charge relaxation time (CRT) of the liquid determines the
electric repulsion force between the satellite drop and meniscus. The satellite drop will merge
with the meniscus at long CRT, and fail to merge and deteriorate the printing quality at short CRT.
The simulations are adopted to discover the mechanism of generation and flight behavior of charged
satellite drops. The results show that the critical CRT decreases with the dielectric constant of the
liquid and the supplied flow rate. Namely, for small dielectric constant and fixed CRT, the satellite
drop is less likely to merge with the meniscus, and for high flow rate, the satellite drop is prone
to merge with the meniscus due to the delay of necking thread breakup. These results will help to
choose appropriate parameters to avoid the satellite drop from falling onto the substrate.

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