3D printing of gas-dynamic virtual nozzles and optical characterization of high-speed microjets

Reza Nazari, Sahba Zaare, Roberto C. Alvarez, Konstantinos Karpos, Trent Engelman, Caleb Madsen, Garrett Nelson, John C.H. Spence, Uwe Weierstall, Ronald J. Adrian, Richard A. Kirian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21749-21765
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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