The Microscopic Topography of Ink On Paper

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The Microscopic Topography of Ink On Paper

 news 2015-04-16 at 10:28:49 am Views: 145
  • #42320

    The Microscopic Topography of Ink On Paper
    A team of Finnish scientists has found a new way to examine the ancient art of putting ink to paper in unprecedented 3-D detail. The technique could improve scientists' understanding of how ink sticks to paper and ultimately lead to higher quality, less expensive and more environmentally-friendly printed products.

    Using modern X-ray and laser-based technologies, the researchers created a nano-scale map of the varying thickness of toner ink on paper. They discovered that wood fibers protruding from the paper received relatively thin coatings of ink. In general, they also found the toner thickness was dictated mainly by the local changes in roughness, rather than the chemical variations caused by the paper's uneven glossy finish.

    The team describes their results in a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

    "We believe that this gives new insight, especially on how the topography of paper impacts the ink setting or consolidation," said Markko Myllys, an applied physicist at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. "This in turn helps us understand how glossy and non-glossy printed surfaces should be made."

    Intricate Ink and Paper Microstructures

    To achieve their detailed picture of ink thickness, the researchers first examined the underlying paper with X-ray microtomography, a smaller cousin of the CT scanning technology used in hospitals to produce images of the inside of the body.

    To analyze the cyan ink layers, the researchers used two additional technologies: optical profilometry, which bounced a light beam off the surface of the ink to obtain a surface profile, and laser ablation, which zapped away controlled amounts of ink with a laser to determine the ink depth.