Drying dip-coated colloidal films

Li, J., Cabane, B., Sztucki, M., Gummel, J. and Goehring, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-3858-7295, 2012. Drying dip-coated colloidal films. Langmuir, 28 (1), pp. 200-208. ISSN 0743-7463

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We present the results from a small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) study of lateral drying in thin films. The films, initially 10 μm thick, are cast by dip-coating a mica sheet in an aqueous silica dispersion (particle radius 8 nm, volume fraction ϕs = 0.14). During evaporation, a drying front sweeps across the film. An X-ray beam is focused on a selected spot of the film, and SAXS patterns are recorded at regular time intervals. As the film evaporates, SAXS spectra measure the ordering of particles, their volume fraction, the film thickness, and the water content, and a video camera images the solid regions of the film, recognized through their scattering of light. We find that the colloidal dispersion is first concentrated to ϕs = 0.3, where the silica particles begin to jam under the effect of their repulsive interactions. Then the particles aggregate until they form a cohesive wet solid at ϕs = 0.68 ± 0.02. Further evaporation from the wet solid leads to evacuation of water from pores of the film but leaves a residual water fraction ϕw = 0.16. The whole drying process is completed within 3 min. An important finding is that, in any spot (away from boundaries), the number of particles is conserved throughout this drying process, leading to the formation of a homogeneous deposit. This implies that no flow of particles occurs in our films during drying, a behavior distinct to that encountered in the iconic coffee-stain drying. It is argued that this type of evolution is associated with the formation of a transition region that propagates ahead of the drying front. In this region the gradient of osmotic pressure balances the drag force exerted on the particles by capillary flow toward the liquid–solid front.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Langmuir
Creators: Li, J., Cabane, B., Sztucki, M., Gummel, J. and Goehring, L.
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Date: 10 January 2012
Volume: 28
Number: 1
ISSN: 0743-7463
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Sep 2016 11:32
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 15:46
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28395

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