Technical Reports


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Influence of surfactant structure on reverse micelle size and charge for non-polar electrophoretic inks

Parent, Mary E.; Yang, Jun; Jeon, Yoocharn; Toney, Michael F.; Zhou, Zhang-Lin; Henze, Dick
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): reverse micelles; non-polar media; transient current; small-angle x-ray scattering; electrophoretic displays

Abstract: Electrophoretic inks, which are suspensions of colorant particles that are controllably concentrated and dispersed by applied electric fields, are the leading commercial technology for high quality reflective displays. Extending the state-of-the-art for high fidelity color in these displays requires improved understanding and control of the colloidal systems. In these inks, reverse micelles in non-polar media play key roles in media and particle charging. Here we investigate the effect of surfactant structure on reverse micelle size and charging properties by synthesizing different surfactants with variations in polyamine polar head groups. Small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) were used to determine micelle core plus shell size and micelle hydrodynamic radius, respectively. The results from SAXS agreed with DLS and showed that increasing polyamines in the surfactant head increased the micelle size. The hydrodynamic radius was also calculated based on transient current measurements, and agreed well with the DLS results. The transient current technique further determined that increasing polyamines increased the charge stabilization capability of the micelles and that an analogous commercial surfactant OLOA 11000 made for a lower concentration of charge generating ions in solution. Formulating magenta inks with the various surfactants showed that the absence of amine in the surfactant head was detrimental to particle stabilization and device performance.

20 Pages

External Posting Date: July 21, 2011 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: July 21, 2011 [Fulltext]

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