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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Sep 29;97(13):136103. Epub 2006 Sep 26.

Simple model of skin formation caused by solvent evaporation in polymer solutions.

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Department of Applied Physics, The University of Tokyo and CREST-JST, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.


A simple model is proposed for the skin formation in the evaporation process of a polymer solution at a free surface. In this model the skin is regarded as a gel phase formed near the free surface, and the dynamics is described by a diffusion equation for the polymer concentration with moving boundaries. The equation is solved both analytically and numerically. It is shown that the skin phase appears when the evaporation rate is high or when the initial polymer concentration is high. An analytical expression is given for the criterion for the skin phase to be formed.

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