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Process to Fabricate a Thermal Transfer Print Head to Provide a Conformable Head

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107933D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 51K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Dove, D: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A conventional thermal transfer print head includes a two-part lamination consisting of a tungsten sheet bonded to a polyimide sheet with an adhesive. The adhesive can limit the operational temperature of the print head and increase its stiffness, making the print head less conformable.

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Process to Fabricate a Thermal Transfer Print Head to Provide a Conformable Head

      A conventional thermal transfer print head includes a two-part
lamination consisting of a tungsten sheet bonded to a polyimide sheet
with an adhesive.  The adhesive can limit the operational temperature
of the print head and increase its stiffness, making the print head
less conformable.

      Disclosed is a process to etch a tungsten sheet suitable for
use in a thermal transfer print head without using a conventional
polyimide/adhesive support lamination.  The tungsten sheet is first
backed with a disposable substrate that supports the etched tungsten
and then is discarded.  Onto one of the tungsten surfaces is
deposited a metal support film, such as copper.  Later the copper or
other metal of the support film can be selectively etched without
etching the tungsten.  The deposited support film has to be thick
enough to support the etched tungsten, for example, 25 mm.  After the
deposition of the metal support film on one surface of the tungsten,
standard photolithography is used to define a print head electrode
pattern on the other tungsten surface.  The tungsten is either wet or
reactive ion etched to form the electrode pattern.  The etched
tungsten is then cleaned in a mild ultra-sonic bath.  The etched
tungsten is then potted with a polymer solution.  The polymer
solution is made thin enough so as to wick between the closely spaced
electrodes of the print head electr...