Researchers in the Eriksson and Lagally research groups at the University of Wisconsin have used a Microplotter to direct the growth of carbon...
SonoPlot's Microplotter systems are ideally suited for research, development, and rapid prototyping of printed electronic elements.
Due to the wide range of inks they can handle, the Microplotters are also capable of printing novel nanomaterials that other systems struggle with, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene.
In particular, the GIX Microplotter II, with its high-precision positioning stages, has been designed to service the needs of these kind of applications. Despite the fine features that this system can draw, it has a compact form factor and an affordable price.
Advantages Over Inkjet Technology
The dispensing mechanism used within the Microplotter systems is significantly different from existing inkjet technology. Rather than eject droplets over a distance to a surface, a Microplotter (as its name would suggest) acts like a pen plotter, directly dispensing droplets or true continuous features. This dispensing is driven by the patented ultrasonic pumping action at the core of a Microplotter.
This different printing mode allows the Microplotters to work with a much wider variety of fluids than inkjets can. High-viscosity solutions can be dispensed (with viscosities up to 450 centipoise), as well as ones that would normally present clogging problems to inkjets, like saturated salt solutions, high-solids-content suspensions, or certain carbon nanotube solutions. Very little ink tuning is required to print using a Microplotter, in contrast to the refinement often required when dealing with an inkjet.
True continuous features can also be printed using a Microplotter. Lines are drawn as a single feature with smooth edges, as opposed to lumpy elements created by overlapping droplets. These lines, arcs, or other traces can be drawn with line widths as narrow as 5 microns.