Ink Dispersion on Qianlong Xuan Paper with Improved Ink Expression

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Journal / PublicationJournal of Materials Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


Qianlong Xuan paper, lost two hundred years ago, was reproduced by engineers in Red-Star Xuan Paper Limited Liability Company of China. Its remarkable performance and profound historical value are highly regarded by artists and the paper commands very high price in the commercial market. Ink penetrates and spreads optimally in the paper and the words exhibit clear edges with small fluctuations because of the desirable wettability and wicking. These characteristics make it stand out from three Xuan paper samples. The good wettability, verified by contact angle measurements, is an essential prerequisite to strong wicking. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy is performed to determine the chemical structure of Qianlong Xuan paper and the relatively large hydrogen bonding ratio contributes to the hydrophilicity. The microstructure investigated by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy reveals wide fibers and a uniform fiber arrangement with good connectivity, dense network, as well as rough fiber surface. These unique properties endow Qianlong Xuan paper with strong wicking to improve the ink expression.

Research Area(s)

  • Homogeneity, Qianlong Xuan paper, Surface roughness, Wettability, Wicking