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Characterization of Chinese Ink in Size and Surface



J R. Swider, Vincent A. Hackley, J Winter


Chinese lnk, a mixture of soot and animal glue, has been used in East Asia for centuries as the sole black paint of choice. The combination of animal glue and soot particles creates a distinctive dispersion system giving Chinese Ink its unique properties among paints and inks. Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS) size measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging revealed subtle differences in particle size and aggregation among Inks ofdifferent soot origin. Surface chemistry of the particles was examined using Laser Doppler Electrophoresis (LDE) for determination of the isoelectric point (IEP). The IEPs ofdifferent inks were not distinct, but reflected the presence of the coliagen-based glue on the particles' surface. The IEP and size dropped significantly when inks were treated with coliagenase and when uncoated soot and carbon blacks were measured, pointing to the important role of animal glue in this dispersion system.
Journal of Cultural Heritage
No. 3


animal glue, collagen, colloidal dispersion, isoelectric point, nanocomposite, nanoparticle, photon correlation spectroscopy, SEM, soot


Swider, J. , Hackley, V. and Winter, J. (2003), Characterization of Chinese Ink in Size and Surface, Journal of Cultural Heritage (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created June 30, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021