Thermal Bubble Jet Printhead with Integrated Nozzle Plate

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Abstract:

This paper reports on a new 1/3 inch thermal bubble jet printhead with integrated nozzle plate. This new kind of printhead consists of a standard printhead substrate and a three-dimensional structured polyimide nozzle plate containing the fluidic channels and the nozzle. Furthermore the use of an adequate design of the fluidic supply is of outstanding importance to achieve high print frequencies. The integrated nozzle plate with two precise aligned structural layers is made by an advanced laser ablation process which uses both a stepping and a full-scale scanning mode. The nozzle plate is assembled with the substrate using an adhesive layer of only 3 μm thickness. The required adhesive layer thickness can be achieved by an adhesive transfer technology. In this case the alignment can be done with an accuracy of 3 μm over 1/3 inch length. Thus it is not mandatory to have a three layer system like in other commercial printheads. A further improvement concerning printing speed will be the anticipated size of one inch of the final printhead prototype.

In order to assess the tolerances in assembling and aligning the nozzle plate simulations have been performed to predict the effect of misalignments or additional adhesive layers on the characteristic inkjet parameters droplet quality, volume, velocity and print frequency. Therefore a fully three-dimensional model was set up using the Volume of Fluid (VOF) method. The differences in ejected droplet volume and droplet velocity between simulation and experiment are below 5%.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.
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