Kodak has a continuous inkjet printing process that works at offset speeds up to 24 miles per hour This technology could allow personalized magazines and direct mailings. Similarly newspapers could have tailored advertising and editorial content.
This should have implications for MEMS, nanotubes, nanoparticles and organ printing. Inkjet technology has been used to deposit carbon nanotubes on paper, to deposit biological cells for organ printing and other nanoscale manipulations. Alternative polymer based electronics that can use inkjet based manufacturing could become more competitive in cost and volumes with semiconductor fabs. Could other reel to reel processes also benefit? Such as the printing of solar cells ?
In 2003, Researchers from the University of Minnesota made tiny particles of gold, silver and carbon assemble into patterns on silicon wafers over areas as large as a square centimeter by using electrical charge patterns to attract and position the nanoparticles. They can eventually be used to form wires, circuits and even nanoscale devices like transistors. They printed 10- to 100-nanometer particles into patterns with features as fine as 200 nanometers using a process that started with the nanoparticles suspended in liquid. They were able to print features as fine as 100 nanometers by directing particles towards the charged surface using gas.