Ion Deposition Printing - What is ion deposition printing?
A method of printing; this process creates an image by using static electricity to attract toner to specific areas of an image drum before it is transferred and bonded onto a substrate. Ion deposition printing is similar to laser printing; a latent ("invisible") image is created on an image drum (the image carrier or imaging device) using static electricity, but where laser printing uses a laser to create a pattern of charged and neutral areas on the surface of a photoconductive drum, ion deposition deposits charged ions directly onto the drum to create the required pattern. Ions are atoms that have had electrons removed (creating a positive charge) or added (creating a negative charge).
Like laser printing, ion deposition prints digital images; a Raster Image Processor converts the document or image being printed into a raster image or "bitmap"; the document or image is represented by a grid of pixels (points of colour). This bitmap is then sent to the printer for output. A printhead deposits positively charged ions in a dot matrix pattern on the surface of the drum to represent the image being printed; the "content" of the image is represented by ions on the surface of the drum, while "non-content" areas are represented by an absence of ions. The image is then developed as the drum rotates past a toner cartridge; the toner particles have a negative charge, meaning that they will be attracted to the positive ions. The substrate is then pressed directly against the image drum and pressure is used to fuse the toner in place. Finally, any remaining charge on the drum is neutralised and any remaining toner is swept away.
Ion deposition printing is used to produce monochromatic images using one colour of toner only; the pressure generated during the fusion stage can distort the substrate slightly, so if multiple colours were to be used they would be unlikely to line up exactly, which would mean the required colours wouldn't be created and the image produced wouldn't be correct.Go Back to Glossary