Sagging of Evaporating Droplets of Colloidal Suspensions on Inclined Substrates

Leonardo Espín, Satish Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A droplet of a colloidal suspension placed on an inclined substrate may sag under the action of gravity. Solvent evaporation raises the concentration of the colloidal particles, and the resulting viscosity changes may influence the sag of the droplet. To investigate this phenomenon, we have developed a mathematical model for perfectly wetting droplets based on lubrication theory and the rapid-vertical-diffusion approximation. Precursor films are assumed to be present, the colloidal particles are taken to be hard spheres, and particle and liquid dynamics are coupled through a concentration-dependent viscosity and diffusivity. Evaporation is assumed to be limited by how rapidly solvent molecules can transfer from the liquid to the vapor phase. The resulting one-dimensional system of nonlinear partial differential equations describing the evolution of the droplet height and particle concentration is solved numerically for a range of initial particle concentrations and substrate temperatures. The solutions reveal that the interaction between evaporation and non-Newtonian suspension rheology gives rise to several distinct regimes of droplet shapes and particle concentration distributions. The results provide insight into how evaporation and suspension rheology can be tuned to minimize sagging as well as the well-known coffee-ring effect, an outcome which is important for industrial coating processes. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11966-11974
Number of pages9
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 14 2014


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