Volume 80, Number 6, December 2007
Article Number 64001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 07 November 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 64001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/64001

Control of spreading and drying of a polymer solution from Marangoni flows

C. Poulard and P. Damman

Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie des Polymères, Université de Mons-Hainaut - Place du Parc, 20, B-7000, Mons, Belgium

received 30 May 2007; accepted in final form 11 October 2007; published December 2007
published online 7 November 2007

We studied the drying process of polymer solution drops put on a wettable substrate. Three stages can be identified. First, the droplet spreads until a maximum radius where evaporation becomes dominant. The second phase is characterized by a constant radius due to competition between spreading and evaporation of the solvent. Finally, the contact line recedes until complete evaporation of the solvent. We show that, for complex fluids (highly viscous polymer), the morphology is not determined by the evaporation process, the "coffee stain" effect but essentially by the capillary instabilities. Using the appropriate couple of polymer/solvent, we were able to obtain a outward, inward or a lack of Marangoni flow in the droplets, leading to the formation of a rim, a drop or a uniform film, respectively.

47.54.-r - Pattern selection; pattern formation.
81.15.-z - Methods of deposition of films and coatings; film growth and epitaxy.
47.20.Dr - Surface-tension-driven instability.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007