A quartz crystal microbalance, which tracks four overtones in parallel with a time resolution of 10 milliseconds : application to inkjet printing
A quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) is described, which simultaneously determines resonance frequency and bandwidth on four different overtones. The time resolution is 10 milliseconds. This fast, multi-overtone QCM is based on multi-frequency lockin amplification. Synchronous interrogation of overtones is needed, when the sample changes quickly and when information on the sample is to be extracted from the comparison between overtones. The application example is thermal inkjet-printing. At impact, the resonance frequencies change over a time shorter than 10 milliseconds. There is a further increase in the contact area, evidenced by an increasing common prefactor to the shifts in frequency ,∆f, and half-bandwidth, ∆Γ. The ratio ∆Γ/(−∆f), which quantifies the energy dissipated per time and unit area, decreases with time. Often, there is a fast initial decrease, lasting for about 100 milliseconds, followed by a slower decrease, persisting over the entire drying time (a few seconds). Fitting the overtone dependence of ∆f(n) and ∆Γ(n) with power laws, one finds power-law exponents of about 1/2, characteristic of semi-infinite Newtonian liquids. The power-law exponents corresponding to ∆f(n) slightly increase with time. The decrease of ∆Γ/(−∆f) and the increase of the exponents are explained by evaporation and formation of a solid film at the resonator surface.