A Theoretical Study of the Role of Interfacial Water and Triboelectric Charging in Insulators

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In electrophotographic printing, the adsorption of water on critical surfaces has an overwhelming but poorly understood effect on the triboelectric charging. In this work, Molecular Mechanics was used to find the most probable water adsorption sites for isolated PMMA, poly(methyl methacrylate), and isolated silica models, and for intermolecular complexes between PMMA and silica which are responsible for triboelectric charge transfer. Density functional theory (DFT) was used calculate the local energy minima, the adsorption of water molecules on different surface functional groups, and the analysis of the frontier orbitals, to quantitatively compare the energy gap differences for electronic charge transfer, and thus the effect of hydration site on PMMA and silica on electronic charge transfer.

Four surface water adsorption modes that affect electron charge transfer between PMMA and silica were found: water adsorbed on the PMMA carbonyl, water adsorbed at the active site of the LUMO on silica, water as a spacer between PMMA and silica, and water as a charge carrier dissipating charge.

This work provides a detailed mechanistic understanding of the effect of water on the surface electronic structure of amorphous silica and PMMA that are critical to electrophotographic applications, and no doubt to other applications where the surface electronic structure is relevant.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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