Authors: J.L. Sumerel, L.F. Deravi and D.W. Wright
Affilation: Dimatix, Inc., United States
Pages: 271 - 274
Keywords: nanofabrication, thin films, polymers, biomaterials, DNA, dendrimer, AFM
In contrast to thermal ink jetting that uses heat to generate fluid drop ejection, MEMS-constructed piezoelectric ink jet printheads use a thin PZT slab bonded to a silicon diaphragm to generate acoustic energy that drives drop formation without heat. This novel, non-contact, and nondestructive printing process immobilizes a variety of functional materials while retaining activity. By formulating an ink and determining jetting parameters, drop on demand immobilization of a variety of functional materials can be established for one-sided deposition. We have formulated a variety of inks for the printing of DNA, peptides, proteins, dendrimers and carbon nanotubes using both direct inking and scaffold carriers for the immobilization of nucleic acids and antibodies. After the printing is completed, these molecular recognition elements remain functional and bind their complimentary oligonucleotides or their cognizant protein, respectively, from complex samples indicating that their biological activity is retained during processing. Moreover, after dendrimeric templating activity is retained after printing thereby allowing the production of patterned silicon dioxide thin films measuring less than 170 nm. We have demonstrated the strength and utility of this technique to print sensor components, and further directions will be to integrate these additive processes and couple them to environmental detection.