Kyocera Corp developed a thermal print head with a resolution of 2,400 dots per inch (dpi), which is reportedly twice as high as that of the company's existing product.
The latest print head is expected to be used for providing security measures, such as printing of "micro characters" designed to prevent the counterfeiting of paper currency, etc.
With this print head, 1.6 x 1.6mm two-dimensional barcodes can be printed at a print speed of 1mm per second. Kyocera is planning to develop a product with an enhanced print speed of 10mm per second, the company said. The product can be used not only to print on thermal paper but also as a print head for dye-sublimation printers. Full color printing is also possible using several print heads.
In order to achieve the 2,400dpi resolution, the company employed a structure where the entire surface of an Al2O3-based ceramics substrate serving as a base layer is covered with a glaze layer, which is a heat storage layer. Because the average surface roughness (Ra) of the glaze layer is approximately 1/10 or lower than that of the ceramics substrate, the wires will not be broken even if the electrodes are microfabricated, the company said.
The schedules for sample shipment and mass-production have yet to be decided, according to the company.
The print head will be exhibited at Auto-ID Expo 2008, which runs from Sept 10 to 12, 2008 at Tokyo Big Sight, and at CEATEC Japan 2008, which will take place from Sept 30 to Oct 4, 2008, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.