3 years ago

Suppression of the Coffee-Ring Effect and Evaporation-Driven Disorder to Order Transition in Colloidal Droplets

Suppression of the Coffee-Ring Effect and Evaporation-Driven Disorder to Order Transition in Colloidal Droplets
Govardhan Reddy, D. D. Sarma, Atreya Dey, Shyamashis Das
The formation of a ring-like deposit at the periphery of a drying colloidal droplet is a vexing problem in many applications. We show a complete suppression of such deposits when a droplet of aqueous colloidal suspension, deposited on a glass substrate coated with a thin layer of silicone oil, is evaporated. This coating prevents the periphery of the aqueous droplet from getting pinned to the substrate and helps in suppressing the ring formation. It also decreases the surface area of the droplet, thereby decreasing the evaporation rate. These two factors together, driving the colloidal particles slowly to the center of the droplet, contribute to form an ordered crystallite at the end of the evaporation process. Brownian dynamics simulations performed to study ordering in the aggregate show that the spherical colloidal particles form face-centered cubic structures. Experiments and simulations show that slow rates of droplet evaporation and smaller-sized colloidal particles further lead to high-quality ordered colloidal crystallites.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01814

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01814

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