This article details a simulation effort from first principles to evaluate the feasibility of using ink aerosols in a direct marking technology based on the ElectroPrint concept. This technology, called Acoustic Mist Imaging (AMI), uses acoustic or other nebulizer mechanisms to create a fine mist of droplets, which are then charged and directed onto a print medium to record the image. Drop charging is modeled using two approximations: a very rapid ballistic impact scheme; and by tracking individual ion trajectories with a more compute intensive self-consistent drift attachment model. Charged drops are then individually tracked to deposit on a print medium, producing virtual pixels. Results are generated for square and circular apertures at 600 spi, and for combinations of stationary and moving aperture-print media configurations to quantify image smearing. Preliminary data indicates that the technology is capable of 600 spi and higher print resolutions. Even higher resolution is achievable by synchronizing the velocities of both the print aperture and print medium, and by electrostatic focusing of the ion beam. Numerical experiments to duplicate the ElectroPrint images indicate that image smearing can be significantly reduced through a combination of uniform airflow velocity profile (slug flow) and increasing the deposition electric field.
Meng H. Lean, "Virtual Pixels Printed with Acoustic Mist Imaging" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 2002, pp 216 - 227, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2002.46.3.art00005