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Diagnostic Technique for Real-Time Measurement of Optical and Scan Properties of Optical Printheads

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A diagnostic technique has been developed for rapid characterization of optical and scan properties in optical printers. The technique provides simultaneous real-time measures of beam profiles, including spot size, centroid and energy, at all or multiple positions along the print scan line for dynamically moving beams in laser printers or for static optical beams in LED printers. As such, it facilitates adjustments of f- lenses in laser printheads with air bearing spindles without the need to stop the polygonal scanning mirror. Also, since an entire raster is measured at once, measurements of the scan line bow and linearity characteristics are obtained in real-time. Polygonal scanner jitter characteristics can be measured in seconds. For LED printheads, it provides for optimal adjustment of lens/array assemblies, and for measurement of the many thousands of LEDs in seconds, yielding linearity, MTF, and power compensation values. When compared to conventional slit-scanning diagnostic methods, the 3σ measurement accuracy for spot size is slightly less, but the 3σ centroid accuracy is improved, primarily because there are no moving parts. For instruments using this diagnostic technique, real-time performance yields up to a thousandfold increase in measurement speed, with corresponding reductions in test time, allowing for vast improvement in fabrication tools and in quality control and assurance in printhead manufacturing.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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