Analysis of profile and morphology of colloidal deposits obtained from evaporating sessile droplets

Laxman K. Malla, Rajneesh Bhardwaj, Adrian Neild

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25 Citations (Scopus)


We experimentally investigate the profile and morphology of the ring-like deposits obtained after evaporation of a sessile water droplet containing polystyrene colloidal particles on a hydrophilic glass substrate. In particular, the coupled effect of particle size and concentration are studied. The deposits were qualitatively visualized under an optical microscope and profile of the ring was measured by an optical profilometer. The profile of the ring resembles a partial torus-like shape for all cases of particles size and concentration. The cracks on the surface of the ring were found to occur only at smaller particle size and larger concentration. We plot a regime map to classify three deposit types - discontinuous monolayer ring, continuous monolayer ring, and multiple layers ring - on particles concentration - particle size plane. Our data shows a possible existence of a critical concentration (particle size) for a given particle size (concentration) at which the monolayer ring forms. For the larger particle sizes, the immersion capillary forces between the particles dominate, aiding the formation of a monolayer ring of the particles. We measure the width and height of the ring and show that they scale with particle concentration by a power law for the multiple layers ring. This scaling corroborates with an existing continuum based theoretical model. We briefly discuss the effect of the interaction of growing deposit with shrinking free surface on the ring dimensions and profile. The present results aid understanding of the ring formation process and will be useful in guiding the design of self-assemblies of the colloidal particles formed by the evaporating droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-160
Number of pages11
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2019


  • Colloidal deposit cracking
  • Colloidal self-assembly
  • Evaporating sessile droplet

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