Tailoring the hydraulic impedance of out-of-plane micromachined electrospray sources with integrated electrodes
Hydraulic impedance is a critical parameter for the operation of electrospray emitters, and for preventing flooding when spraying from arrays of emitters. Controlling flow rate by tuning the flow impedance allows accessing different operating modes, such as droplet, ionic, or pulsating. We report on a method to tailor the hydraulic impedance of micromachined capillary out-of-plane emitters with integrated extractor electrodes by filling them with silica microspheres. Spraying the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (EMI-BF4), we demonstrate the ability to tune from droplet emission to pure ion emission depending on microbead diameter, obtaining stable emission from single emitters and from arrays of 19 emitters.