Nanomicropatterning of polymers and direct printing methods are becoming prominent nanofabrication tools in multiple fields of application from medicine to aerospace technology. All the available processes are very expensive, requiring complex equipment and highly trained staff. Often the desired pattern cannot be realized easily and the method used for the fabrication would be a direct consequence of the material of interest, with a significant limitation in case of highly viscous polymers. We propose a very simple, low cost method that exploits the pyroelectrohydrodynamic effect for patterning polymer fibers with high resolution. In particular, we focus on the fabrication of nanocomposite polymer fiber with good mechanical and electrical properties. We start from studying the instability phase of patterning for low concentrated polymeric solutions and discuss the condition of continuous printing. Moreover, the same technique is applied for the patterning of footpath as master for the realization of microfluidic chips. The simplicity of the method proposed, associated with the high-resolution patterning achievable at nanoscale, suggest innovative and widespread uses of general purpose for in situ and noninvasive instruments in different fields of research and business cases.
In order to break the rigidity of classic lithographic techniques, a flexible pyro-electric-electrohydrodynamic (EHD) inkjet
printing is presented. In particular, here is showed a method able to manipulate highly viscous polymers, usable for
optical integrated devices. The system proposed reaches spatial resolution up to the nano-scale and can print, for
instance, nano-particles and high viscous polymer solutions. This technique allows writing patterns directly onto a
substrate of interest in 2D or in 3D configuration and is studied in order to overcome limitations in terms of type of
materials, geometry and thickness of the substrate. In the present work, we show the potential of pyro-EHD printing in
fields as optics and micro-fluidics. A micro-channel chip is functionalized with a PDMS-made micro-lenses array,
directly printed on the chip. The geometric properties and the quality of the lenses are evaluated by a Digital Holography
Microlenses and microlens arrays are assuming an increasingly important role in optical devices and communication systems. In response to their extended use in different fields of technology, a great emphasis is being placed on research into simple manufacturing approaches for these micro-optical components as well as on the characterization of their performance. This paper provides an overview of the recent emerging technologies for the fabrication of polymer microlenses by electrical, mechanical, chemical, and pyro-electrical methods. Attention is mainly focused on polymer molding and self-assembling for microlens arrays, while ink-jet printing is proposed for on-demand printing of lenses with high resolution. Among all the emerging techniques proposed, the pyro-electrodynamic approach has recently achieved great interest as an easy multiscale approach for the fabrication of polymer microlens arrays through a flexible process driven by electrohydrodynamic pressure. As each processing method has distinct advantages and limitations, the most significant characteristic parameters and the measurements of these parameters are discussed for each method.
A challenging request in the fabrication of microfluidics and biomedical microsystems is a flexible ink-jet printing for breaking the rigidity of classical lithography. A pyroelectric-EHD system is presented. The system has proved challenging spatial resolution down to nanoscale, printing of high ordered patterns, capability of dispensing bio-ink as DNA and protein array for biosensing fabrication, single cells printing and direct printing of nanoparticles. With the method proposed high viscous polymers could be easily printed at high resolution in 2D or in 3D configuration. The pyro-EHD process has been proved for the fabrication of biodegradable microneedles for trasndermal drug delivery and 3D optical waveguides.