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Evaporation-driven ring and film deposition from colloidal droplets

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2015

C. Nadir Kaplan
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
L. Mahadevan*
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Email address for correspondence:


Evaporating suspensions of colloidal particles lead to the formation of a variety of patterns, ranging from a left-over ring of a dried coffee drop to uniformly distributed solid pigments left behind wet paint. To characterize the transition between rings and uniform deposits, we investigate the dynamics of a drying droplet via a multiphase model of colloidal particles in a solvent. Our theory couples the inhomogeneous evaporation at the evolving droplet interface to the dynamics inside the drop. This includes the liquid flow, local variations of the particle concentration leading to a cross-over between dilute and dense suspensions, and the resulting propagation of the deposition front. A dimensionless parameter combining the capillary number and the droplet aspect ratio captures the formation conditions of different pattern types while correctly accounting for the transition from Stokes flow to Darcy flow at high solute concentrations.

© 2015 Cambridge University Press 

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