The Ascorbic+ cartridge is one of three cartridges currently available for printing and is the reducing reagent required for form silver nanoparticles. Reaction with the Silver cartridge causes silver particle formation. The active ingredient in the Ascorbic+ cartridge is ascorbic acid (often referred to as vitamic c). Ascorbic acid readily reacts with oxygen which will cause the Ascorbic+ ink to yellow and become less effective over time. This degradation can be slowed by storing the cartridge in the fridge or freezer.
Ascorbic+ contains a stabilising additive to change the silver nanoparticle size. This makes it better suited for printing on non-porous substrates.
Never touch circuits printed with Ascorbic+ until they have been rinsed.
Ascorbic vs. Ascorbic+
Ascorbic+ cartridges contain ascorbic acid plus an additive to modify the silver nanoparticle size. As a result, rinsing of the circuit is required after printing to drastically increase conductivity. Circuits printed with Ascorbic+ will appear black in colour until they have been thoroughly rinsed after which they will become significantly lighter.
Clean cartridges print better. Always recap your cartridges when they will not be used for extended periods. If they have been left uncapped and require cleaning, see the cleaning section below.
If a cartridge has been left uncapped for an extended period, ascorbic acid will crystallise on print head. It is possible that these may not be visible immediately depending on the duration of exposure.
- Using gloves, wet a piece of paper towel or a disposable cloth/rag with distilled water. Do not use a tissue or other material which will easily disintegrate on the nozzles.
- Over a bin, wipe the nozzles back and forth using a small amount of force until the nozzles appear clean. Use additional paper towel or water as necessary.
- If still not clean, substitute water for isopropyl alcohol. DO NOT use rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits, mineral turpentine (white spirit) or other solvents.
- Dispose of paper towel/cloths safely and wash hands.