What is a printhead?

What is a printhead?

In general, the part that transfers color and/or data (characters, images) onto media such as paper is called the printhead.

Various types of printheads exist depending on the printing method, such as thermal (thermal transfer), inkjet, and electrophotographic.

Printing Method Classification

Printing can be broadly classified into impact and non-impact methods.
The most common printing methods are listed below.

Printing Method Classification

【Printing Method Classification】

Impact Type

Impact types utilize a method of printing that mechanically transfers ink to paper by striking an ink ribbon.

There are two kinds of impact printers, one uses a rod or pin to create dots (dot matrix printer) and the other utilizes matrix-type elements to print characters, such as typewriters. Dot matrix printers are often used in ATM bookkeeping applications.

Non-Impact Type

Printing methods other than impact types are collectively referred to as non-impact printing.

Thermal Transfer Method

A method in which a wax or resin-based ink ribbon is melted (glued) onto a material such as paper using heat.

Inkjet Method

A method that propels droplets of ink from tiny chambers onto a suitable material. Finer spray ink has made high definition printing possible.

Electrophotographic Method

A technique that uses laser or LED light to form an electrostatic latent image onto a positively charged photosensitive drum, to which negatively charged toner is applied and adheres only to the positive image. The image is then transferred onto paper and fused using heat and pressure, pressure alone or light to permanently adhere to the paper.

Thermal Method

A method of printing achieved by contacting a heat source with thermal paper (special heat-sensitive paper). Frequently used for receipt printers.

Electrostatic Recording Method

With this method an electrostatic latent image is formed by the transfer of charges from a wire stylus to dielectric coated paper or the like made up of a conductive material with dielectrial layer on top). Toner (pigment powder) is then used to make the image visible.

Electrical Discharge Recording Method

A printing method that exposes the underlying color of special paper (made up of a white insulating layer on a colored conducting layer) through electrical discharge from a stylus that destroys the white insulating top layer of the paper.

Thermal PrintheadsTo Product Page

ROHM offers a lineup of thermal printheads compatible with both the thermal transfer and thermal printing methods.