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New Drive Electronics to Improve Drop Weight Uniformity in Multi-Nozzle Inkjet Heads

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It is well known that piezo inkjet technology is capable of depositing a controlled amount of fluid in a specified location very accurately. This technology renders itself well to various deposition applications. We have conducted research to apply inkjet technology to patterning devices. In order to achieve high rates of production throughput, multi-nozzle inkjet heads are needed. One of the issues with multi-nozzle heads is the drop weight variation between channels. The inkjet heads used for this research have 128 piezo-electric elements in line. An analog drive circuit, which creates a trapezoidal waveform, is connected to the common electrode of all elements. The other ends of piezo elements are connected to individual switches. The element discharges on the leading edge of the trapezoid waveform if the other end is grounded by the switch. This causes the element to shrink and pull back the meniscus at the orifice. When it is charged on the trailing edge, the element expands and pushes the meniscus out through the orifice. The discharge level, which influences drop volume, can be controlled by adjusting the duration of the grounding time of the switch. By using this method, it has been shown that the drop weight variations across the 384 nozzles (three heads) can be improved from 25-27ng±20% to 25-27ng±5%.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • 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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