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Canon Technology: FINE (Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering)

Written By admin on December 25, 2008 | 6:59 PM

FINE (Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering) is an innovative key technology for inkjet printers developed by canon to meet the challenge of increasing image quality while also realizing faster print speeds.

Ejection mechanism for accurate placement of microscopic ink droplets as small as 1 picoliter*

Microscopic ink droplets and ejection precision are essential to high image quality. With conventional ejection systems, however, the finer the ink droplets, the more vulnerable they are to disturbances from print head movement and changes in ink viscosity due to temperature fluctuations, resulting in uneven and inconsistent ink dot placement.
*picoliter(pl): one trillionth of 1 liter

Pict 1. FINE Ink-Ejection Process

Canon's FINE ejection system ensures that
all the ink under the heater is pushed out in a single thrust that creates precise, uniform droplets. Additionally, by ejecting ink more efficiently, ink droplet ejection speed has been increased to more than 1.5 times that of conventional systems, reducing their susceptibility to airflow disturbances to enable increased placement accuracy.
For example, Canon PIXMA MP610 achieves excellent placement accuracy by ejecting ink droplets as small as 1 picoliter with exceptional precision.

Print head manufacturing technologies using nano-precision semiconductor exposure equipment

Achieving smaller droplet sizes and faster print speeds requires high precision fabrication technologies to enable the placement of a greater number of nozzles over a wider area. With ordinary inkjet printers, print heads are fabricated by bonding components fitted with fine grooves and holes. Limitations in the precision of component processing and bonding associated with this approach make it impossible to arrange a large number of nozzles in a precise, uniform manner.
Supported by the company's FINE technology, Canon print heads are made by integrating the heaters and nozzles into a single unit on a wafer using a process that makes the most of the company's expertise in semiconductor production, as well as its original material technologies and innovative processing technologies. The ability to fabricate nozzles with high precision over large areas without using bonding processes makes it possible to arrange 6,000 or more nozzles within an area measuring a mere 20 mm x 16 mm - roughly the size of a thumbprint.

Pict 2. Print Head with Enlarged View of Nozzle Configuration

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