Finite element analysis of blister formation in laser-induced forward transfer

Nicholas T. Kattamis, Matthew S. Brown, Craig B. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Blister-actuated laser-induced forward transfer (BA-LIFT) is a direct-write technique, which enables high-resolution printing of sensitive inks for electronic or biological applications. During BA-LIFT, a polymer laser-absorbing layer deforms into an enclosed blister and ejects ink from an adjacent donor film. In this work, we develop a finite element model to replicate and predict blister expansion dynamics during BA-LIFT. Model inputs consist of standard mechanical properties, strain-rate-dependent material parameters, and a parameter encapsulating the thermal and optical properties of the film. We present methods to determine these material parameters from experimental measurements. The simulated expansion dynamics are shown to be in good agreement with experimental measurements using two different polymer layer thicknesses. Finally, the ability to model high-fluence blister rupture is demonstrated through a strain-based failure approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2438-2449
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 28 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Laser ablation
  • Polymer
  • Stress/strain relationship


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