Japanese reveal next generation of high-speed printing

Researchers in Tokyo have come up with a new method of fast printing that could completely revolutionise the world of graphics printers.

Engineers from the Institute of Technology at Kyoto University claim that they can achieve a switching (printing operation time) of 200 nanoseconds (2/10 millionths of a second) using a piezoelectric thin film.

The achievement, which researchers say is a world record, opens the door for a new generation of printing, reports Tech Eye.

This is because piezoelectric thin films - a solid material that is capable of producing electronic charge - interact with the Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) used in inkjet printers at a lightning pace. MEMS are responsible for controlling the volume and precision of ink coating in inkjet printers.

Researchers say that as well as being able to print at an incredible speed, piezoelectric films pave the way for incredibly fine printing whilst reducing the amount of ink used.

"However, switching time cannot be adequately controlled with the current generation of piezoelectric thin films," explained NanoWerk.com. "If it is possible to realise high speed switching, expansion to industrial applications and development of higher performance products can be expected."

Project leaders believe that an improvement in MEMS devices could one day also provide benefits in other areas of industry, such as the automotive world. They say that the technology could improve a vehicle's fuel consumption if it were integrated into the ceramic parts of the engine which control fuel efficiency.

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