'Tails from the nozzle bank'
This was taken with a Nikon D70 with a Navitar zoom macro lens and a very short flash duration (20 ns) light source. This image was taken during a series of experiments at the Cambridge Engineering Department, Inkjet Research Centre investigating the performance of inkjet printers. It shows ink drops emerging from a bank of inkjet nozzles (just visible at the bottom of the picture). The image is about 2.3 mm across, the drop heads are 50 microns across and the tails are less than 10 microns wide (10 times thinner than a human hair). Although very small the drops are moving at around 6 m/s hence the need for a very short flash to freeze the motion. The drops are in three groups with slightly different drop firing times. In some cases the drops are still attached to the nozzles by long ligaments of stretching liquid. Other drops show separation and the formation of smaller, “satellite” drops from the collapsing ligaments. This image was adjusted for brightness and contrast and rotated for effect.