Friday, November 19, 2010

Photorealistic ink-jet printing

Most scientific papers are written according to a rigid structure that can be traced back to the Iraqi scientist Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham (965–1039), known in Europe under his Latinized name Alhazen. Alhazen proposed the scientific process in use today and consisting in observing a phenomenon, formulating a hypothesis, and conducting an experiment to prove it.

Consequently, we structure papers in an abstract, an introduction with the background, a method section describing the experiment, presentation of the results, discussion and conclusion, and a list of the references. This format was introduced by that unrepentant optimist who was the German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716).

This rigid structure allows us to advance science in a very efficient way, because we can disseminate new knowledge in two or three pages that are easily parsed and understood by everyone working in the same field.

The problem is when somebody enters a new field or a student learns a field. Myriad papers are available on the Internet without delay, but discovering the big picture by connecting all the relevant papers is very difficult. In the old days, it was the professor's or master's role to explain the big picture, but in today's world where researchers have only social network friends and few if any real world colleagues, this resource has disappeared.

Fortunately, from time to time one of these masters who have reached the mountain's peek and gained the general overview of their field, writes a broad paper reviewing the field's landscape. The December issue of Coloration Technology has such a paper on photorealistic ink-jet digital printing — factors influencing image quality, image stability and print durability. Here is the data:

  • link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1478-4408.2010.00271.x/abstract
  • reference: Kazlauciunas, A. (2010), Photorealistic ink-jet digital printing – factors influencing image quality, image stability and print durability. Coloration Technology, 126: 315–324. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-4408.2010.00271.x
  • abstract: Digital cameras have now replaced film-based cameras as the most popular method of still image capture. As a consequence, there has been a rise in growth of the photo-realistic digital-printer market as many amateur and professional photographers choose to produce their own hard copy images. The most popular digital printing technology for producing photo-realistic images is currently drop-on-demand ink jet. There has been much research into key factors influencing the quality, stability and durability of images produced using this, and other, digital printing technologies. A key area of study in achieving photo-realistic images from digital printing systems has been ink-receivable layers and dye/pigment colorants, and most importantly compatibility between the two. As with any new technology it is important to achieve an acceptable standard of performance and, to this end, research work has been instigated by the International Standards Institute since the mid-1990s, to achieve a set of standards appertaining to areas such as light fastness, water fastness, thermal stability, humidity fastness and pollution susceptibility. This paper reviews the current state regarding the aforementioned areas with respect to their influence on print quality, stability and durability.