Optical fibre is used abundantly in today’s advanced era of communication, high-speed internet calls for the use of fibre-optic cable to transmit signals over long distances. By using fibre cables, the speed of the internet vastly increases while the chance of a lost signal significantly decreases. Fibre is also used in newer computers to help create efficient transmission and processing. Recently scientists from ITMO University have been working to create fibre on a microscale to keep up with the demand for smaller and thinner devices, this microscale fibre is known as micro waveguides.
Waveguides have historically been created by laser ablation or photolithography, but these methods require complex equipment and a plethora of rare materials. Advancements in inkjet printing technology, however, have started changing the production of waveguides.
Inkjet Printing is Changing the Computer Industry
ITMO University scientists have figured out a timely and cost-effective way to inkjet print micro waveguides. Using a special inkjet ink composed of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, micro waveguides are able to be highly refractive to adequately conduct signals over long distances.
“It is obvious that the creation of elements of data storage and transmission of data based on the photons movement control is the basic technology for future computers. The most difficult part for the engineering of such devices is the creation of efficient signal transport lines. Our solution, actually, removes all the major limitations in this area and I have no doubt that soon we will see photon computing devices with waveguides created with our method.” Alexander Vinogradov, ITMO University Researcher.
The main benefits of inkjet printing micro waveguides are a quick turnaround time and the ability to print materials at an affordable price, unlike when waveguides are created through laser ablation or photolithography. By using a suspended solution composed of titanium dioxide particles, waveguides don’t need rare materials to be created, saving manufacturers a significant amount of money.
What the Future Holds for Inkjet Printing Waveguides
Inkjet printing waveguides will soon ensure that micro waveguides are printed as quickly and affordably as possible, while inkjet printing waveguides isn’t yet the standard, it only makes sense for those in the technology industry to shift in that direction. Inkjet printing elements are the future for computers, especially as devices and components continue to get smaller. Scientists are already hard at work to begin printing other elements related to processing and signal transmission.
As the complicated process of the United Kingdoms’ withdrawal from the European Union progresses and as the 29th of March - the date the UK is meant to leave the EU -approaches we want to reassure you that this will in no way affect the availability and delivery for supply of the products that you purchase from us, as we have now put in place a new Distribution Centre in the Netherlands.
As previously notified, we have set up our Distribution Centre in The Netherlands, and this has been stocked and running for some weeks – in fact your recent orders from us have probably been shipping from the Netherlands already.
You can therefore be confident that when ordering from Daemon Print Supplies in the coming weeks and months – both before and after ‘Brexit’ – you will see no variation in the price, availability or delivery services to you. In fact, in many cases, the delivery of goods may be faster than would have been the case from our UK Distribution Centre.
Please know, that Daemon Print Supplies is sorry that the UK has chosen to leave the EU and that we will do everything we can to ensure that we continue to serve our EU customers to the best of our ability.
Printing on glossy paper captures everyone’s attention, materials printed on glossy substrates look more vibrant and generally have a wider range of colours. In addition, images reproduce with more contrast and they look sharper. However, there are also special considerations when printing on glossy paper and other substrates. The materials have to be handled carefully because oil from fingerprints affect the inkjet inks. Moreover, finger smudges can harm the end product.
UV-Curable or Water-Based?
The printing company generally chooses the ink based on the inkjet systems installed and water-based and UV curable inks are the most popular. Unlike printing on matte surfaces, glossy substrates require additional effort to achieve the shiny and expensive looking results. Inks have to be tuned to the surface tension of the glossy surface, the ink droplets must have just enough dot gain, meaning that the droplets spread out when applied to the substrate. If there is too much dot gain then the printing will be blurry. Optimal dot gain is necessary to avoid the white lines between the passes of the inkjet printhead.
Pre-treating glossy paper with primers defeats the intended effect of the shiny product, this is due to the tendency of primers to dull the surface. Other methods must be used to cure the ink after printing.
The inks on glossy surfaces do not absorb into the material, rather the droplets adhere to the shiny surface. A quick drying method avoids ink smearing, if the printing system uses UV curable inks or LED curable inks, the heat from the wavelength of mercury vapour lights or LED lights quickly cure the ink. UV curable inks will come at a higher cost.
Curing and Drying Inks
UV curable inks are the fastest growing ink segment in the digital printing market, far surpassing the growth rates of aqueous and solvent-based inks. Printing systems using the less expensive water-based inks may use tunnel dryers, infrared light or heated platens before or after printing or external fans. Also, both piezo and thermal printheads raise the temperature of the inks, the warmer ink aids the curing.
Corona Treating the Paper
Another method for improving inkjet printing on glossy paper or plastics uses a corona or air plasma pre-treatment. The low-temperature process uses high voltage applied to an electrode that temporarily changes the surface tension of the substrate, which helps the ink bond to the surface. However, the corona treatment fades after a short period so corona treating and printing should happen at the same time.
Inkjet printing speeds now rival legacy offset or flexographic printing systems, inkjet printing also offers the distinct advantage of cheaper set-up costs, which makes shorter print runs for glossy products more cost-effective.
Glossy books, direct mail and promotional advertising are some of the most common end products on can expect to see.