Engineering the Phase Behaviour of High Performance Inkjet Colorants

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Engineering

  • Authors:
  • Marina Sintyureva

Abstract

Dyes for inkjet printing are typically of the chromonic type. Chromonic mesophases have gained considerable attention as a well-defined group of lyotropic mesogens with different properties from conventional amphiphiles. While extensive research has been dedicated to the field of surfactant liquid crystals, structural and aggregation studies of chromonics have only emerged as a topic of interest within the last few years.The liquid crystalline structures in aqueous solutions of commercial Cu - phthalocyanine and black dyes have been examined using a combination of optical microscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, wide- and small-angle X-ray diffraction and electronic paramagnetic resonance with a view to examining the phase behaviour of the chromonic mesophases formed over a broad range of concentrations and temperatures. These studies were performed in order to resolve outstanding problems concerning structural properties of these systems.Optical microscopy allowed us to identify the liquid crystalline phases and to construct the phase diagram. The observations show that both of these dyes form nematic mesophase above 15% wt / wt% dye. The small-angle diffraction data confirmed that the nematic phase for the black dye is maintained throughout the 16-25% composition range. A further increase in concentration leads to the formation of the hexagonal phase. The Cu - phthalocyanine dye also formed a nematic phase at low concentrations, with the aggregates undergoing a phase transition to an orientationally ordered chromonic liquid crystal phase at high dye concentration. These studies showed that this ordered phase possessed hexagonal symmetry. The wide-angle X-ray results demonstrated that aggregation involved pie-pie stacking of the molecules into columns. An additional reflection at ca. 6.8A was observed for the black dye, which is believed to arise from "head - to - tail" packing of the molecules within the aggregates (a similar phenomenon observed in other azo dyes, e.g. Edicol Sunset Yellow).The densities of both dyes were measured over the studied range of concentrations. This enabled us to calculate the parameters of the aggregates within the hexagonal mesophase. A comparison between the area of the molecule and the cross-section of the aggregates showed that the aggregates of both dyes were the unimolecular stacks.

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Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2011