Inkjet Printing of Viscous Monodisperse Microdroplets by Laser-Induced Flow Focusing

Paul Delrot, Miguel A. Modestino, François Gallaire, Demetri Psaltis, Christophe Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The on-demand generation of viscous microdroplets to print functional or biological materials remains challenging using conventional inkjet-printing methods, mainly due to aggregation and clogging issues. In an effort to overcome these limitations, we implement a jetting method to print viscous microdroplets by laser-induced shockwaves. We experimentally investigate the dependence of the jetting regimes and the droplet size on the laser-pulse energy and on the inks' physical properties. The range of printable liquids with our device is significantly extended compared to conventional inkjet printers's performances. In addition, the laser-induced flow-focusing phenomenon allows us to controllably generate viscous microdroplets up to 210 mPa s with a diameter smaller than the nozzle from which they originated (200 μm). Inks containing proteins are printed without altering their functional properties, thus demonstrating that this jetting technique is potentially suitable for bioprinting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024003
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 8 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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