Measurement of the surface charge of ultrafine particles from laser printers and analysis of their electrostatic force

Hai Jiang, Lin Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrafine particles (UFPs) released from laser printers are electrostatically charged during the working processes of the devices, and the electrostatic force can obviously influence the dynamics of the particles. Due to the measurement difficulty and scarcity of relevant research, this issue was not reported. This study tried to address this issue through experimental measurement of the surface charge of UFPs and numerical investigation on the influence of electrostatic force on the dynamics of UFPs. A test chamber was set up to collect the UFPs, and the Scanning Electron Microscope was used to observe the morphologies of the UFPs. Based on the particle diameter and surface zeta potential, the surface charge of UFPs was calculated. The measurement results gave that particle emitted from laser printers are negatively charged and the average surface charge of particle emissions for four laser printers is in a range of about -4.16 × 10-17to -6.07 × 10-17C (∼-260 to -379 e). This paper also discussed the influence of electrostatic force on the dynamics of UFPs. According to the numerical investigation, it was found that, in the absence of electric field, the electrostatic force has to be considered when the surface charge is larger than 1 × 10-16C and when the UFP is very close to the wall with a distance of less than 0.01 m. These findings will guide constructively in predicting the dispersion and deposition of particles emitted from laser printers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3347-3351
Number of pages5
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


  • Laser printer
  • Surface charge
  • Ultrafine particle
  • Zeta potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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