Shape and Chemical Anisotropic Particles in Low Dielectric Constant Media

  • Sean Butterworth

Student thesis: Phd


Electrophoretic displays (EDPs) are an attractive low power technology for small to large area displays. Such display technology has seen a surge of research interest with the launch of successful e-readers in the market place, owing to their lower power consumption and paper-like quality. This work aims to look at the influence of shape on the electrophoretic mobility of particles for such devices. Crosslinked poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) precursor particles with a narrow size distribution were produced by non aqueous dispersion polymerisation utilising a pump-feed method. To produce shape anisotropic particles an adapted version of the dynamic swelling method for polar media was chosen. Suitable monomers were screened by the use of Hansen solubility theory to find monomers which interact with PMMA but not the solvent. It was found that 2- hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and N-hydroxyethyl acrylamide (HEAm) were two such suitable monomers, methyl methacrylate (MMA) was also used as a control series.It was found that cluster-like particle morphologies could be produced by the MMA system by the inclusion of small quantities of crosslinking monomer. This was due to precipitation of higher molecular weight polymer segments to the seed particle surface. The cluster-like morphology could be enhanced by use of a polar crosslinking monomer and by sequential reactions. For the polar system, it was found that the reactions with pure monomer were unclean, due to the solubility mismatch of the monomer and the solvent system. This was overcome by a copolymerisation with MMA. The system showed different particle morphologies could be produced by varying the polar monomer content. In one case a sample of pure dumbbell-like particles could be produced. These dumbbell-like particles are thought to be chemical as well as shape anisotropic owing to monomer composition. EPD evaluation for the particles was undertaken and showed that all particles can become highly charged in low dielectric constant media, but that the shape anisotropic particles are prone to adsorption to the cell walls and electrodes.The work outlined in this thesis shows the first reporting of shape anisotropic polymeric particles produced in low dielectric constant solvents system.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorStephen Yeates (Supervisor)


  • Dispersion Polymerisation
  • Anisotropic Particles
  • non aqueous charging

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