SLA 3-D Printed Arrays of Miniaturized, Internally Fed, Polymer Electrospray Emitters


This paper reports the look, fabrication, and characterization of arrays of miniaturized, internally fed, polymer electrospray emitters fabricated with stereolithography. The freeform additive manufacturing method used to make the devices has associated 2 orders of magnitude reduction within the fabrication cost per device and fabrication time (from thousands of dollars to tens of greenbacks, and from months to hours, respectively) and a 2 orders of magnitude reduction in the cost of the manufacturing infrastructure (from uncountable bucks to tens of thousands of greenbacks) compared with a silicon MEMS multiplexed electrospray source. The 3-D printed devices include options not easily attainable with other microfabrication methods, e.g., tapered channels and threaded holes. Through the optimization of the fabrication method 10-mm tall, isolated, straight, solid columns with diameter as tiny as $three hundred~mu textm$ , and 12-mm long, straight tubes with inner diameter as little as four hundred $mu textm$ and wall thickness as little as $150~mu textm$ were demonstrated. Arrays with as several as 236 internally fed electrospray emitters (236 emitters in one cm $^2)$ were created, i.e., a twofold increase in emitter density and a sixfold increase in array size compared with the simplest reported values from multiplexed, internally fed, electrospray sources made of polymer. The characterization of devices with a different array size suggests a homogenous emitter operation. [2015-0129]

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