Gas dynamic virtual nozzles (GDVNs) produce microscopic flow-focused liquid jets and droplets and play an important role at X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) facilities where they are used to steer a stream of hydrated biomolecules into an X-ray focus during diffraction measurements. Highly stable and reproducible microjet and microdroplets are desired, as are flexible fabrication methods that enable integrated mixing microfluidics, droplet triggering mechanisms, laser illumination, and other customized features. In this study, we develop the use of high-resolution 3D nano-printing for the production of monolithic, asymmetric GDVN designs that are difficult to fabricate by other means. We also develop a dual-pulsed nanosecond image acquisition and analysis platform for the characterization of GDVN performance, including jet speed, length, diameter, and directionality, among others. We show that printed GDVNs can form microjets with very high degree of reproducibility, down to sub-micron diameters, and with water jet speeds beyond 170 m/s.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics