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Phys Rev Lett. 2016 Mar 25;116(12):124501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.124501. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Controlled Uniform Coating from the Interplay of Marangoni Flows and Surface-Adsorbed Macromolecules.

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.
E. Pedro Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85042, USA.


Surface coatings and patterning technologies are essential for various physicochemical applications. In this Letter, we describe key parameters to achieve uniform particle coatings from binary solutions. First, multiple sequential Marangoni flows, set by solute and surfactant simultaneously, prevent nonuniform particle distributions and continuously mix suspended materials during droplet evaporation. Second, we show the importance of particle-surface interactions that can be established by surface-adsorbed macromolecules. To achieve a uniform deposit in a binary mixture, a small concentration of surfactant and surface-adsorbed polymer (0.05 wt% each) is sufficient, which offers a new physicochemical avenue for control of coatings.

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