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Interconnected drying phenomena in nanoparticle laden water-ethanol binary droplets

  • Regular Article - Soft Matter
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Understanding the evaporation of a multi-component droplet has found immense importance in various technological applications. This study investigates the evaporation behaviour of a colloidal binary droplet system comprising of the ethanol-water mixture and polystyrene nanoparticles. The wetting and evaporation dynamics were studied with an emphasis on the collective influence of ethanol and nanoparticle concentrations. The temporal behaviour of the contact angles, shapes and volumes of the droplets was monitored in order to analyse the evaporative behaviour. With increase of ethanol concentrations, the binary droplet volumes were found to decrease nonlinearly with time. Ethanol being more volatile evaporated in the initial stage. Towards the end of the evaporation process, the evaporation characteristics mimics the behaviour of pure water. Our study shows that the initial contact angle decreases monotonically with increased concentration of ethanol in the mixture. The contact angle is maximum for a particular nanoparticle concentration. Droplets with higher ethanol concentration show higher wettability which in its turn is maximum for low nanoparticle concentrations. This trend shows the interconnected effect of ethanol and nanoparticle concentrations on evaporation. Rim width of the final deposition pattern increases with nanoparticle concentration although it is almost independent of ethanol concentration. Finally, it is noticed that fast evaporation of a relatively more volatile component in a binary mixture droplet leads to nanoparticle segregation for low nanoparticle concentrations. Thus for binary mixtures, the evaporation of the more volatile component, ethanol for our case, offers characteristic differences in the resulting evaporation dynamics from that of pure water which finds applicability for multi-component evaporation processes.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge support by Indian Institute of Technology Ropar. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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Authors and Affiliations



DL and SS conceived and planned the experiments. DL and V carried out the experiments and analysed the data. SS supervised and guided the entire work. All the authors provided critical feedback in interpreting the results, helped shape the research and contributed towards the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Subhendu Sarkar.

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Versha, Lohani, D. & Sarkar, S. Interconnected drying phenomena in nanoparticle laden water-ethanol binary droplets. Eur. Phys. J. E 44, 35 (2021).

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