Indexed on: 25 Jul '17Published on: 25 Jul '17Published in: Soft Matter
The electrokinetics and charging of nonpolar colloidal dispersions subjected to a voltage are investigated by electric current and optical measurements. From electric current measurements in response to an alternating triangular voltage with a peak value of a few hundred volts, we find that polystyrene toner particles are compacted near the electrodes and their charge increases by more than a factor of 20. The important increase of charge is interpreted by a mechanism in which counter charges, which are originally at the particle surface, are desorbed. Optical measurements performed under a dc voltage of the order of a few hundred volts demonstrate that the charge of the particles can again decrease or even be inverted. These phenomena are attributed to the movement of counter charged species from the interface layers onto the surface of the particles. The findings of this study are relevant for electrophoretic displays and liquid toner printing.