Controlled uniform coating from the interplay of Marangoni flows and surface-adsorbed macromolecules


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 non-uniform 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.

Physical Review Letters