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Thermal Printheads

Thermal Printheads

Thermal printheads are devices used to print using thermally sensitive materials (i.e. thermal paper, thermal transfer ribbon) by energizing resistors mounted on a substrate to generate joule heat.

Thermal paper, which is low-cost, easy to handle, and virtually maintenance-free, is used in wide variety of applications, including fax machines, printers, and ticketing equipment.

What's more, improved characteristics such as recording quality and speed have expanded the application range.

Thick- and Thin-Film Types (Thermal Printheads)

Thermal printheads are roughly classified into thick-film and thin-film types based on the manufacturing method, materials, and structure.
ROHM offers both types, along with hybrid products that combine thick- and thin-film elements in original configurations.

Method Production Process Comparison
Thick Film Film formation by screen printing
(Conduction pattern creation via photo-etching)
Thin Film Film formation by sputtering or metal deposition
(Conduction pattern creation via photo-etching)

[Thermal Printhead Manufacturing Method Comparison]

Printing Methods Using Thermal Printheads

Thermal Transfer Method

Thermal Transfer Method

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

Advantages
  • Excellent water and chemical resistance
  • Compatible with plain paper
Disadvantages
  • High running costs
  • Complicated printer structure
  • Difficult to install paper/tape (ribbon)

Thermal Method

Thermal Method

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

Advantages
  • No need for toner, ribbon, or ink
  • Simple printer structure
  • Easy to install paper
Disadvantages
  • Susceptible to temperature and scratches

Thermal PrintheadsTo Product Page

Features of ROHM’s Thermal Printheads

ROHM has accumulated industry-leading expertise in thick-film production, thin-film deposition, and semiconductor manufacturing technologies through a streamlined production system and R&D focused on resistive elements used for heat generation and semiconductor solutions such as driver ICs designed to power these elements.

Leveraging these advanced technologies will allow ROHM to quickly commercialize thermal printheads for both thick- and thin-film applications while leading the industry by providing proprietary high reliability, high performance solutions that utilize thick-/thin-film hybrid configurations, thermal history control ICs, special protective glazes, and more. ROHM can also design and manufacture custom products tailored to user needs.

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