Efforts to adapt and extend graphic arts printing techniques for demanding device applications in electronics, biotechnology and microelectromechanical systems have grown rapidly in recent years. Here, we describe the use of electrohydrodynamically induced fluid flows through fine microcapillary nozzles for jet printing of patterns and functional devices with submicrometre resolution. Key aspects of the physics of this approach, which has some features in common with related but comparatively low-resolution techniques for graphic arts, are revealed through direct high-speed imaging of the droplet formation processes. Printing of complex patterns of inks, ranging from insulating and conducting polymers, to solution suspensions of silicon nanoparticles and rods, to single-walled carbon nanotubes, using integrated computer-controlled printer systems illustrates some of the capabilities. High-resolution printed metal interconnects, electrodes and probing pads for representative circuit patterns and functional transistors with critical dimensions as small as 1m demonstrate potential applications in printed electronics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank L. Jang and M. Nayfeh for supplying Si nanoparticle solutions, R. Shepherd and J. Lewis for the use of their high-speed camera, and R. Lin for assistance with setting initial experimental conditions. In addition, the authors acknowledge the Center for Nanoscale Chemical Electrical Mechanical Manufacturing Systems in the University of Illinois, which is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant DMI-0328162, and the Center for Microanalysis of Materials in University of Illinois, which is partially supported by the US Department of Energy under grant DEFG02-91-ER45439. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.A.R. Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on www.nature.com/naturematerials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering