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Universal fluid droplet ejector

United States Patent

August 24, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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Universal Fluid Droplet Ejector
A droplet generator comprises a fluid reservoir having a side wall made of glass or quartz, and an end cap made from a silicon plate. The end cap contains a micromachined aperture through which the fluid is ejected. The side wall is thermally fused to the end cap, and no adhesive is necessary. This means that the fluid only comes into contact with the side wall and the end cap, both of which are chemically inert. Amplitudes of drive pulses received by reservoir determine the horizontal displacements of droplets relative to the ejection aperture. The drive pulses are varied such that the dropper generates a two-dimensional array of vertically-falling droplets. Vertical and horizontal interdroplet spacings may be varied in real time. Applications include droplet analysis experiments such as Millikan fractional charge searches and aerosol characterization, as well as material deposition applications.
Lee; Eric R. (Redwood City, CA), Perl; Martin L. (Palo Alto, CA)
The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford, CA)
08/ 958,476
October 27, 1997
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under grant No. DE-AC-03-76SF00515, awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.