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Printed Electronics World
Posted on February 17, 2012 by  & 

New development of tiny-drop-size & high-accuracy inkjet printhead

Konica Minolta has successfully developed a high-accuracy inkjet head capable of 1-picoliter drop size, the first for printed electronics applications. The new print head utlilizes the company's proprietary MEMS technologies for the first time. KM will start offering the new inkjet printhead (the KM128SNG-MB) in sample quantities by this spring.
The newly developed inkjet printhead is manufactured with silicon MEMS technologies that utilizes semiconductor process technologies. Through MEMS technologies, Konica Minolta succeeded in developing highly accurate printhead construction (38mm width, in one row, 128 nozzles) capable of discharging in micro drop size.
The company's proprietary technologies in ink flow path design and high-precision assembly processes have achieved layout of tiny-size droplet highly precisely and stably. Furthermore, the new inkjet printhead is highly resistant to various inks required for industrial applications and suitable to use with low-viscosity inks.
Utilization of MEMS technologies has helped integration of nozzles and resulted in benefits such as compact inkjet printhead. In line with requests from the market in the future, further integration of nozzles will be an area of enhancement for time to come.
Specific applications for the newly developed inkjet printhead will include, among others, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display patterning, OLED lighting thin-layer coating, and new manufacturing technologies for high-value-added displays for smartphones and similar devices that require high accuracy.
Printed electronics market, including next-generation flexible displays, is expected to grow to approximately two-trillion yen in 2020 (research by Konica Minolta), where utilization of the newly developed inkjet printhead is highly expected.
Konica Minolta is a founding member of Japan Advanced Printed Electronics Technology Research Association (JAPERA) that was formed in 2011. Through its innovative inkjet technologies for industrial use, Konica Minolta has been contributing to the research and development activities for next-generation printed electronics technologies with even more energy-saving, resource-saving and highly productive features in the near future.
Under its communication message "Giving Shape to Ideas," Konica Minolta has been developing and manufacturing inkjet products, such as inkjet printhead, textile printers and high-value-added inks, with superb performance and enhanced values for industrial applications, by utilizing its proprietary precision processing technologies and material technologies that underlie its products' advantages in saving energy and resources. With the newly developed inkjet printhead, the company will continue to contribute to further expansion of applications with industrial-use inkjet technologies and growth of the market.
Major Features of the Newly Designed Printhead Utilizes silicon MEMS technology used in semiconductor processing.
  • First printhead for printed electronics applications to achieve a 1 picoliter drop size
  • High-accuracy printhead structure: 38mm wide; 128 nozzles in one row
  • Stable, highly accurate operation with accuracy drive control on a per-nozzle basis
  • High ink resistance and optimization for low viscosity inks for industrial applications
  • Provides highly uniform thin layer coating (at the 100nm level)
  • Optimized for display manufacturing technology, such as for OLED displays
  • Proprietary DPN (Drive Per Nozzle) drive board and evaluation equipment available
Drop size-1pl
Number of nozzles-128 (in one row)
Print width-38mm
Maximum frequency-15kHz
Nozzle spacing-300 μm
67mm (W) x 40mm (D) x 70mm (H)
approx. 55g
Fluid viscosity
1 - 5 mPa·s
Major Applications
OLED display patterning, OLED lighting thin-layer coating, new manufacturing technologies for high-accuracy, high-value-added displays for smartphones and similar devices.
For information about Konica Minolta's inkjet printheads, please visit
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