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Micromachines 2013, 4(1), 49-66; doi:10.3390/mi4010049
Article

Enhanced Liquid Metal Micro Droplet Generation by Pneumatic Actuation Based on the StarJet Method

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Received: 5 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 11 March 2013
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Abstract

We present a novel pneumatic actuation system for generation of liquid metal droplets according to the so-called StarJet method. In contrast to our previous work, the performance of the device has been significantly improved: the maximum droplet generation frequency in continuous mode has been increased to fmax = 11 kHz (formerly fmax = 4 kHz). In addition, the droplet diameter has been reduced to 60 μm. Therefore, a new fabrication process for the silicon nozzle chips has been developed enabling the production of smaller nozzle chips with higher surface quality. The size of the metal reservoir has been increased to hold up to 22 mL liquid metal and the performance and durability of the actuator has been improved by using stainless steel and a second pneumatic connection to control the sheath flow. Experimental results are presented regarding the characterization of the droplet generation, as well as printed metal structures.
Keywords: StarJet; metal droplets; 3D-printing; rapid prototyping; droplet generator; microparticle; soldering; bumping StarJet; metal droplets; 3D-printing; rapid prototyping; droplet generator; microparticle; soldering; bumping
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lass, N.; Riegger, L.; Zengerle, R.; Koltay, P. Enhanced Liquid Metal Micro Droplet Generation by Pneumatic Actuation Based on the StarJet Method. Micromachines 2013, 4, 49-66.

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