Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 3554–3563 | Cite as

Evaluation of absorption of micro-droplets on paper for creation of paper-based microstructures

  • Toshiharu Enomae
  • Kazutomo Dogome
  • Akira Isogai


This study clarifies the absorption behavior of micro-droplets of water on treated paper to support the design of functional microstructures, such as electronics and micro-fluid channels, on paper. The period of time between when a micro-droplet of water ejected from an ink-jet head lands on the paper’s surface and its complete disappearance by absorption was defined as the micro-sizing degree (MSD), and an MSD measurement method was established. The MSD was evaluated using microscopic high-speed video images of the side view recorded every millisecond. Several grades of commercially available ink-jet paper media and laboratory sheets having different levels of water repellency prepared from a pulp and a sizing agent were examined. The MSD of commercial ink-jet papers, which are known to absorb water very quickly, was 3–6 ms. Weakly sized laboratory sheets exhibited a lower MSD of 2–3 ms. The absorption behavior was analyzed in terms of the capillary pressure with and without the Laplace pressure; the theoretical and experimental results agreed moderately well. The results indicated that the Laplace pressure cannot be neglected in the analysis. The MSD of a wet surface where a preceding micro-droplet had already landed was higher than that on a dry or partially wet surface, presumably because water remains inside pores for an unexpectedly long time.


Contact Angle Capillary Pressure Water Repellency Pulp Fiber Laplace Pressure 
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The authors express special thanks to Mr. Kazumasa Matsumoto, Konica Minolta, for giving us the opportunity to use the KIE-2 system. They also thank the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Japanese Society of Printing Science and Technology (JSPST) for their financial support: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 22380092 (2009) and Research Fund for Printing Technology (2009 and 2011), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiharu Enomae
    • 1
  • Kazutomo Dogome
    • 1
  • Akira Isogai
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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