Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm David E. LaRose
  • Patent number: 6637866
    Abstract: The present invention is directed toward an improved heater chip for an ink jet printer. The heater chip has a diamond-like-carbon coating that functions as the cavitation and passivation layers of the heating elements on the heater chip. To improve the efficiency of the heater chip, the diamond-like-carbon coating is surrounded by a material that has a lower thermal conductivity than diamond. This surrounding layer limits thermal diffusion from the heating elements into the heater chip. A smoothing layer of tantalum is deposited over the diamond-like-carbon layer to insure that vaporization of the ink occurs at the ink's superheat limit. The diamond-like-carbon layer is preferably less than 8700 Angstroms in thickness such that less than 1 microjoule of energy is required to expel of ink droplet having a mass between 2-4 nanograms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Wilson Cornell, George Keith Parish, James Harold Powers
  • Patent number: 6590023
    Abstract: A method of making a coating formulation prior to its introduction onto a web to be printed by an ink jet printer. The method includes the steps of: determining the nature and amount of undesirable substances in a component of the coating formulation, adjusting the pH of the component, contacting the pH adjusted component with a first activated carbon material, filtering the thus treated component, contacting the thus treated component with a second activated carbon material, and filtering the thus treated component and combining it with other components of the coating formulation to yield a treated coating formulation having a reduced amount of the undesirable substances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: David S. MacMillan
  • Patent number: 6585365
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved paper coating system for ink jet printing applications. The system includes an ink jet printer containing an ink jet pen and a paper coating device for coating a print media with an effective amount of coating composition prior to printing thereon. The coating composition preferably includes from about 0.25 to about 20% by weight of a first component selected from the group consisting of polyvalent metal salt and organic acid, a second component consisting of from about 1 to about 20% by weight amine polymer, from about 0.25 to about 2.0% by weight surfactant and from about 25 to about 96% by weight glycol-based solvent having a surface tension ranging from about 25 to below about 45 dynes/cm. Since the coating composition is free from ethylene glycol-based components, the composition is safer to use and less harmful to humans and the environment. The composition has also been found to provide improved ink drying with less bleeding or smearing of image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: David Starling MacMillan
  • Patent number: 6579409
    Abstract: A segmented platen for heat-sealing a film material to a non-planar surface of an ink jet printer cartridge includes a heat-transferring housing having sidewalls defining an internal cavity and a first aperture. Heat-transferring segments, which partially protrude through the first aperture of the housing, are operable to independently move in relation to the housing and each other in a direction substantially parallel to the sidewalls of the housing. Biasing devices, corresponding in number to the segments, independently urge the segments through the first aperture of the housing, thereby urging the segments to follow any curvature in the non-planar surface of the ink jet printer cartridge. The platen further includes a heating element for generating and transferring heat into the housing. The segments receive the heat from the housing, and transfer the heat into the underlying film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Christina Allison Cullins, Stephen Francis DeFosse, James Paul Drummond
  • Patent number: 6550893
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for improving adhesion between a polymeric planarizing film and a semiconductor chip surface. The method includes deposition resistive, conductive and/or insulative materials to a seimconductor chip surface to provide a semiconductor chip for an ink jet printer. The chip surface is treated with a dry etch process under an oxygen atmosphere for a period of time and under conditions sufficient to activate the surface of the chip. A polymeric planarizing film is applied to the activated surface of the semiconductor chip. As a result of the dry etch process, adhesion of the planarizing film is increased over adhesion between the planarizing film and a semiconductor surface in the absence of the dry etch treatment of the chip surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: James Michael Mrvos, Carl Edmond Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6540334
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for reducing ink corrosion of exposed metal layers on a chip surface of a semiconductor chip for an ink jet printhead. The method includes depositing a protective layer in a plasma process to the chip surface, the protective layer being deposited adjacent ink ejectors so that the protective layer substantially circumscribes an ink via in the chip. A thick film layer is applied to the protective layer and chip, whereby the protective layer and thick film layer are sufficient to promote increased adhesion between the thick film layer and a nozzle plate attached to the thick film layer thereby substantially reducing a tendency for the nozzle plate and thick film layer to delaminate from one another during printhead manufacture or use and interrupting contact between ink and the exposed metal layers on the chip surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Jim Michael Mrvos, George Keith Parish, Kristi Maggard Rowe
  • Patent number: 6528119
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved paper coating composition for ink jet printing applications. The composition contains from about 2 to about 1 parts by weight polyvalent metal salt, from about 0 to about 30 parts by weight deionized water, an effective amount of cationic amine polymer and surfactant and from about 35 to about 60 parts by weight of an ink penetrant promoter selected from the group consisting of 1,2-propanediol, dipropylene glycol and mixtures of 1,2-propanediol and dipropylene glycol. Since the composition is free from ethylene glycol components, the composition is safer to use and less harmful to humans and the environment. The composition has also been found to provide improved ink drying with less bleeding or smearing of image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: David Starling MacMillan
  • Patent number: 6512198
    Abstract: A method for forming a nozzle plate for an ink jet printer by laser ablation wherein topographical features are formed by laser ablation and additional ablation pulses are applied to remove debris from the nozzle plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: Pete John Eisele, Brian Christopher Hart, Colin Geoffrey Maher
  • Patent number: 6508956
    Abstract: The invention provides a test fluid for detecting coating flaws in a coated web and a method for testing a web coating system. The test fluid includes, water, a polyol, a surfactant, a radiant energy activated tracer compound and an organic solvent selected from the group consisting of an alkylene glycol and a dialkylene glycol. The test fluid is used to identify deficiencies in the web coating system so that adjustments to the web coating system may be made before assembling the coating system in an ink jet printer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: Ronald Willard Baker, David Clay Blaine, Philip Jerome Heink, John William Kietzman, David Starling MacMillan
  • Patent number: 6502926
    Abstract: The invention provides a printhead for an ink jet printer and a method for making a printhead for an ink jet printer. The printhead includes a printhead body having a chip surface side, an ink surface side opposite the chip surface side and a first coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). A semiconductor chip containing ink ejector devices is adhesively attached to the chip surface side of the printhead body. A stiffener is adhesively attached to the ink surface side to provide body stiffening during curing of the adhesive. The semiconductor chip has a second CTE and the stiffener has a third CTE wherein the second and third CTE's have a similar value. The invention provides an improved structure for printheads which resist warpage and/or breakage of the semiconductor chips during the manufacturing process used to make the printheads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: William Paul Cook, Stephen Francis DeFosse, Curtis Ray Droege, Hrishikesh Pramod Gogate, Eric Spencer Hall
  • Patent number: 6502920
    Abstract: An ink jet printing apparatus forms a printed image on a print medium based on image data. The apparatus includes an ink jet print head having ink ejection nozzles in a nozzle array. Ink is ejected from the nozzles and onto the print medium as the print head scans across the print medium in a scan direction, thereby forming the image on the print medium. The nozzle array on the print head includes a first substantially columnar array of nozzles aligned with a print medium advance direction which is perpendicular to the scan direction. The first array has a first upper subarray pair that includes a first upper left and a first upper right subarray of nozzles. The first upper left and a first upper right subarrays each include a substantially linear arrangement of n number of nozzles having equal nozzle-to-nozzle spacings. The nozzle-to-nozzle spacing in the first upper right subarray is equivalent to the nozzle-to-nozzle spacing in the first upper left subarray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: Frank Edward Anderson, John Philip Bolash, Randall David Mayo, George Keith Parish
  • Patent number: 6464414
    Abstract: The invention provides a media sensor adjustment device for maintaining a media sensor in a preselected orientation with respect to print media prior to feeding the print media to a printing position within the printer. The adjustment device includes frame members, a media sensor housing attached to the frame members for holding a media sensor adjacent a media web and means for maintaining the sensor housing in a substantially fixed orientation relative to a media surface so as to maintain an optical surface of the media sensor substantially perpendicular to an optical path extending from the surface of the sensor to a plane defined by the media surface. The sensor adjustment device thus provides a highly reliable means for maintaining a media sensor in its critical optical perpendicularity at a predetermined distance so that reliable media identification can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: Gregory Paul Washnock
  • Patent number: 6449831
    Abstract: A process is provided for forming a heater chip module comprising a carrier adapted to be secured to an ink-filled container, at least one heater chip having a base coupled to the carrier, and at least one nozzle plate coupled to the heater chip. The carrier includes a support substrate having at least one passage which defines a path for ink to travel from the container to the heater chip. The heater chip is secured at its base to a portion of the support substrate. At least the portion of the support substrate is formed from a material having substantially the same coefficient of thermal expansion as the heater chip base. A flexible circuit is coupled to the heater chip module such as by TAB bonding or wire bonding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: Steven Robert Komplin, Ashok Murthy, Carl Edmond Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6439698
    Abstract: A dual curable encapsulant is provided for use in protecting electrical components. The encapsulant contains from about 0 to about 20 percent by weight of a multifunctional epoxy material, from about 80 to about 95 percent by weight of a difunctional epoxy material, a catalytic amount of a photocurative catalyst and co-catalyst and a reactive diluent. Ink jet printer parts assembled and protected with the dual curable encapsulant exhibit enhanced ink corrosion protection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, INC
    Inventor: Girish Shivaji Patil
  • Patent number: 6402825
    Abstract: The invention provides a surface modified carbon black and method for production. The surface modified carbon black is produced by reacting self-dispersing or oxidized carbon with a steric inducing compound via an organic acid halide intermediary. The steric inducing compounds are substantially soluble in the organic components of an ink composition and are reactive with an organic acid halide. Electrostatic and steric stability are provided by the surface modified carbon black. The surface modified carbon black exhibits solubility in aqueous and organic media and exhibits excellent resistance to coagulation within an ink jet printhead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventor: Jing X Sun
  • Patent number: 6402301
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for making ink feed vias in semiconductor silicon substrate chips for an ink jet printhead and ink jet printheads containing silicon chips made by the method. The method includes applying an etch stop layer to a first surface of the silicon chip having a thickness ranging from about 300 to about 800 microns, dry etching individual ink vias through the thickness of the silicon chip up to the etch stop layer from a surface opposite the first surface and forming holes in the etch stop layer to individually fluidly connect with the ink vias using a mechanical technique. Substantially vertical wall vias are etched through the thickness of the silicon chip using the method. As opposed to conventional ink via formation techniques, the method significantly improves the throughput of silicon chip and reduces losses due to chip breakage and cracking. The resulting chips are more reliable for long term printhead use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: James Harold Powers, Carl Edmond Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6398354
    Abstract: A cartridge body contains one or more printheads on a first surface thereof and one or more connection apertures in flow communication with the one or more printheads, each aperture having an opening on a second surface opposite the first surface, and one or more separate ink filtration devices, each having an ink outlet port connected to the second surface of the cartridge body through an opening so that each ink outlet port is in flow communication with at least one connection aperture. The separate devices enable production of a cartridge body made of a material which is effective for removing heat from the printheads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael David Lattuca, David Amos Ward, Richard Earl Corley, Jr., Carl Edmond Sullivan, Paul Timothy Spivey
  • Patent number: 6394593
    Abstract: The invention relates to a vent system for an ink jet pen of the type having an internal pressure regulator. The vent system provides air flow communication between the exterior of the ink jet pen and an interior chamber associated with the pressure regulator while substantially inhibiting the flow of water vapor out of chamber to the exterior of the pen. The vent system includes an elongate flow path defined adjacent the exterior of the pen, the flow path having a first end in flow communication with the chamber and a second end in flow communication with the exterior of the pen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc
    Inventors: Steven Robert Komplin, James Harold Powers
  • Patent number: 6395148
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for producing improved tantalum conductive and resistive materials for use in ink jet heater chips. Specifically, a method for producing thin film tantalum layers of a desired phase on a semiconductor substrate comprises depositing protective layers upon the semiconductor substrate; pre-sputter etching the semiconductor substrate; preheating the semiconductor substrate; maintaining the substrate at a predetermined temperature while depositing the thin film tantalum layer by sputtering for a predetermined period of time at a predetermined input power. Use of the method enables production of a desired tantalum phase for use on a semiconductor substrate thereby providing enhanced corrosion and/or cavitation resistance depending on the use of the semiconductor device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles Spencer Whitman
  • Patent number: 6387719
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for improving adhesion between a polymeric planarizing film and a semiconductor chip surface. The method includes deposition resistive, conductive and/or insulative materials to a seimconductor chip surface to provide a semiconductor chip for an ink jet printer. The chip surface is treated with a dry etch process under an oxygen atmosphere for a period of time and under conditions sufficient to activate the surface of the chip. A polymeric planarizing film is applied to the activated surface of the semiconductor chip. As a result of the dry etch process, adhesion of the planarizing film is increased over adhesion between the planarizing film and a semiconductor surface in the absence of the dry etch treatment of the chip surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: James Michael Mrvos, Carl Edmond Sullivan