The dynamics of Thermal Ink Jet (TIJ) micro-bubble life cycles is characterized through bubble area measurements for small planar heaters (41 μm × 45 μm). A laser visualization technique is used to measure the bubble area viewed from above. The bubbles are generated in water by 2–4 μs heating pulse and survive for 8–10 μs after the pulse. The bubble life-cycle consists of a short initiation time, fast growth, a period of maximum size, and a rapid collapse. Effect of the power inputs (2–4 W) total energy releases (8.8–13.3 μJ) and operational frequencies of 2–3 kHz is observed. Direct observations of bubble area indicate that bubble initiation time and initial growth rate correlates to the input power. The maximum bubble size and overall longevity correlates to the total energy release.

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