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Controlled aggregation of colloidal particles for toner applications



Micrometer-sized particles were formed by controlled aggregation of carboxylated polystyrene colloidal spheres having a mean diameter of about 200 nm with a commercial cationic coagulant. To identify the parameters governing the size and structure of the aggregates, the aggregate size distribution was studied over a period of time with dynamic light scattering. The effect of the particle concentration, pH, and ionic strength on the aggregation behavior was investigated. The coagulant concentration used for present studies was 5 parts per hundred on the basis of the polystyrene particles and the particle concentrations used were 10–15%. The particle size distribution for the latex suspensions was also investigated with a 10% aluminum sulfate [Al2(SO4)3·14H2O] solution as a model coagulant. With the commercial coagulant, aggregation was found to be slower at lower pH than at neutral pH. At pH 6, the particles started to aggregate within minutes and form aggregates of about 1000 nm. We expected that lowering the pH would reduce interparticle repulsive forces and enhance the collision efficiency. However, at a lower pH of 2, the aggregation process slowed down. Increasing the ionic strength at neutral pH led to a broader aggregate size distribution, and the population of larger aggregates increased. The suspensions with the model coagulant showed similar behavior. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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