I'm trying to make a single e-paper capsule (1 cm × 1 cm) at home. At first, I tried to charge the $\ce{TiO2}$ particles by putting them in $\ce{H2O}$ with $\ce{NaOH}$ and then putting that whole solution in baby oil, but it turns out I shouldn't have any water in the whole process. I also tried adding a surfactant (liquid soap) but it also has water. Water is a problem because it forms micelles around the $\ce{TiO2}$ particles and prevents proper spreading. How do I charge the $\ce{TiO2}$ particles without water (and $\ce{NaOH}$). What oil-soluble surfactant I can use that doesn't contain water? Does anyone know any details about how the chemicals of the e-paper display work?

I researched a lot and it turns out the big companies use complicated processes and mixing different chemicals with expensive lab machines to produce the desired charged $\ce{TiO2}$ solution. Is there any way I can do it at home?

From the abstract of an article describing a TiO2 preparation protocol$^1$:

It was found that highly charged TiO2 particles could be prepared by milling 1.0 g of TiO2 particles, 0.5 g of silane additive as a charge controlling agent and 0.5 g of dispersant in 100 mL of cyclohexanone as a suspension fluid for 8–10 h using pot mill, followed by treatment with 0.4 g of acetic acid.

What is a common silane additive used as a charge controlling agent? And what would be an appropriate dispersant here?

Can anyone here recommend additional preparation protocols, perhaps something that might be considered a "standard recipe"?


  1. Park, Lee, Park, Jin, Choi, Hae, Han, Yoon Soo, Kwon, Younghwan, Choi, Hyung. Fabrication of charged particles for electrophoretic display. Current Applied Physics 6(4):644-648.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Mathew Mahindaratne, Mithoron, Tyberius, Todd Minehardt, airhuff Sep 15 at 1:54

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would "big companies use complicated processes and mixing different chemicals with expensive lab machines to produce the desired charged TiO2 solution" if there was an easy and cheap way to do it? $\endgroup$ – MaxW Sep 9 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ True, but I spent my whole summer vacation researching and experiment and it's hard to let go. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Sep 9 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ At the beginning, it was as easy as mixing H2O, NaOH and TiO2, that was the first step. But then I learned that I shouldn't have any H2O anywhere, and it turns out, charging TiO2 particles without water is hard. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Sep 9 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Start by figuring out the composition of the commercial stuff. Then reverse engineer... $\endgroup$ – Buck Thorn Sep 10 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ The engineering is already known, researchgate.net/publication/… it's just too complicated for a 17 year old to do at home without the budget and proper equipment. My last option is to find charged TiO2 online to buy, or very cheap e-paper display. $\endgroup$ – Novalium Company Sep 10 at 7:29