The apparatus uses an aerosol jet deposition head to form an annularly propagating jet composed of an outer sheath flow and an inner aerosol-laden carrier flow. Miniaturization of the deposition head facilitates the fabrication and operation of arrayed deposition heads, enabling construction and operation of arrays of aerosol jets capable of independent motion and deposition. Arrayed aerosol jets provide an increased deposition rate, arrayed deposition, and multi-material deposition.
The apparatus uses an aerosol jet deposition head to form an annularly propagating jet composed of an outer sheath flow and an inner aerosol-laden carrier flow.
Miniaturization of the deposition head facilitates the fabrication and operation of arrayed deposition heads, enabling construction and operation of arrays of aerosol jets capable of independent motion and deposition.
Arrayed aerosol jets provide an increased deposition rate, arrayed deposition, and multi-material deposition. Provisional Patent Application Ser.
The invention more generally relates to maskless, non-contact printing onto planar or non-planar surfaces. The invention may also be used to print materials onto heat-sensitive targets, is performed under atmospheric conditions, and is capable of deposition of micron-size optomec direct-write aerosol jetting hose.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a deposition head assembly for depositing a material on a target, the deposition head assembly comprising a deposition head comprising a channel for transporting an aerosol comprising the material, one or more inlets for introducing a sheath gas into the deposition head; a first chamber connected to the inlets; a region proximate to an exit of the channel for combining the aerosol with the sheath gas, thereby forming an annular jet comprising an outer sheath flow surrounding an inner aerosol flow; and an extended nozzle.
The deposition head assembly preferably has a diameter of less than approximately 1 cm. The inlets are preferably circumferentially arranged around the channel.
The region optionally comprises a second chamber. The first chamber is optionally external to the deposition head and develops a cylindrically symmetric distribution of sheath gas pressure about the channel before the sheath gas is combined with the aerosol.
The first chamber is preferably sufficiently long enough to develop a cylindrically symmetric distribution of sheath gas pressure about the channel before the sheath gas is combined with the aerosol.
The deposition head assembly optionally further comprises a third chamber for receiving sheath gas from the first chamber, the third chamber assisting the first chamber in developing a cylindrically symmetric distribution of sheath gas pressure about the channel before the sheath gas is combined with the aerosol.
The third chamber is preferably connected to the first chamber by a plurality of passages which are parallel to and circumferentially arranged around the channel. The deposition head assembly preferably comprises one or more actuators for translating or tilting the deposition head relative to the target.
The invention is also an apparatus for depositing a material on a target, the apparatus comprising a plurality of channels for transporting an aerosol comprising the material, a sheath gas chamber surrounding the channels, a region proximate to an exit of each of the channels for combining the aerosol with sheath gas, thereby forming an annular jet for each channel, the jet comprising an outer sheath flow surrounding an inner aerosol flow, and an extended nozzle corresponding to each of the channels.
The plurality of channels preferably form an array. The aerosol optionally enters each of the channels from a common chamber. The aerosol is preferably individually fed to at least one of the channels.
A second aerosolized material is optionally fed to at least one of the channels. The aerosol mass flow rate in at least one of the channels is preferably individually controllable. The apparatus preferably comprises one or more actuators for translating or tilting one or more of the channels and extended nozzles relative to the target.
The apparatus preferably further comprises an atomizer comprising a cylindrical chamber for holding the material, a thin polymer film disposed on the bottom of the chamber, an ultrasonic bath for receiving the chamber and directing ultrasonic energy up through the film, a carrier tube for introducing carrier gas into the chamber, and one or more pickup tubes for delivering the aerosol to the plurality of channels.
The carrier tube preferably comprises one or more openings. The apparatus preferably further comprises a funnel attached to the tube for recycling large droplets of the material. Additional material is optionally continuously provided to the atomizer to replace material which is delivered to the plurality of channels.
An object of the present invention is to provide a miniature deposition head for depositing materials on a target. An advantage of the present invention is that miniaturized deposition heads are easily incorporated into compact arrays, which allow multiple depositions to be performed in parallel, thus greatly reducing deposition time.
Other objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the present invention will be set forth in part in the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention.
The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. The drawings are only for the purpose of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention and are not to be construed as limiting the invention.
Deposition is performed without the use of masks. The term mesoscale refers to sizes from approximately 1 micron to 1 millimeter, and covers the range between geometries deposited with conventional thin film and thick film processes. In the annular aerosol jetting process, the aerosol stream enters the deposition head, preferably either directly after the aerosolization process or after passing through the heater assembly, and is directed along the axis of the device towards the deposition head orifice.
The mass throughput is preferably controlled by an aerosol carrier gas mass flow controller. Inside the deposition head, the aerosol stream is preferably initially collimated by passing through a millimeter-size orifice.
The emergent particle stream is then preferably combined with an annular sheath gas. The carrier gas and the sheath gas most commonly comprise compressed air or an inert gas, where one or both may contain a modified solvent vapor content. For example, when the aerosol is formed from an aqueous solution, water vapor may be added to the carrier gas or the sheath gas to prevent droplet evaporation.
The sheath gas preferably enters through a sheath air inlet below the aerosol inlet and forms an annular flow with the aerosol stream.
As with the aerosol carrier gas, the sheath gas flowrate is preferably controlled by a mass flow controller.
The combined streams exit the extended nozzle through an orifice directed at a target. This annular flow focuses the aerosol stream onto the target and allows for deposition of features with dimensions as small as approximately 5 microns.
No axial constrictors are used, and the flows typically do not reach supersonic flow velocities, thus preventing the formation of turbulent flow, which could potentially lead to a complete constriction of the flow.
Enhanced deposition characteristics are obtained by attaching an extended nozzle to the deposition head.Optomec Aerosol Jet technology is a high volume printing approach for the production of 3D antennas and 3D sensors that are tightly integrated with an underlying product ranging from Smartphones to Industrial Components.
With Aerosol Jet systems, customers can print high-precision integrated electronics onto 3D plastic, ceramic and metallic. Aug 10, · Miniature aerosol jet and aerosol jet array Optomec Design Company (Albuquerque, NM, US) Primary Class: / Other Classes: Miniaturization of the deposition head also facilitates a direct write process in which the deposition head is mounted on a moving gantry, and deposits material on a stationary .
UwePartsch, S. M. (, September 13). Materials and Applications for Aerosol Jet Printed Functional Layers. Dresden, Germany: Optomec. Direct write reduces the number of process steps. Less waste. Uses high percentage of material. Intrinsiq Materials Develop Copper Ink for Optomec’s Aerosol Jet Direct Write Print Systems Capable of Achieving 2X Bulk Resistivity March 30, Intrinsiq Materials, an advanced materials company and industry leader in the field of nanomaterial technology, has developed a high.
Aug 16, · Optomec, a leading global supplier of production-grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed electronics and 3D printed metals recently announced its Aerosol Jet Technology can enable 3D polymer and composite structures to be printed at the micron scale with embedded electronics.
May 01, · Overall, laser-based direct-write techniques offer multiple modes of operation including the removal (via ablative processes) and addition (via photopolymerization or printing) of most classes of materials using the same equipment in many cases.