Fundamental mechanisms of lithographic printing plate imaging by near-infrared lasers

David E. Hare, Stuart T. Rhea, Dana D. Dlott, Richard J. D'Amato, Thomas E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fundamental mechanisms of exposure by near-infrared pulses of multilayer films, which can be used as lithographic printing plates, are investigated using time-resolved optical microscopy. The films were developed by Presstek, Inc. (Hudson, NH) for use in the PEARL™ imaging system. Exposure by 10-μs duration Gaussian profile pulses is shown to occur with an extremely sharp fluence threshold of Jth = 0.34 J/cm2. Exposure greatly alters the surface affinity for inks. Time-resolved microscopy shows the mechanism of surface alteration to involve thermochemical decomposition of the surface coating material, which results in its debonding from the film. Using threshold measurements and a theoretical thermal conduction model, debonding is shown to occur when the temperature in the film is about 500°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Imaging Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Science Applications


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