Drying of Complex Suspensions

TitleDrying of Complex Suspensions, Physical Review Letters 104, 128303
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsXu, Lei, Alexis Bergès, Peter J. Lu, André R. Studart, Andrew B. Schofield, Hidekazu Oki, Simon Davies, and David A. Weitz

We investigate the 3D structure and drying dynamics of complex mixtures of emulsion droplets and colloidal particles, using confocal microscopy. Air invades and rapidly collapses large emulsion droplets, forcing their contents into the surrounding porous particle pack at a rate proportional to the square of the droplet radius. By contrast, small droplets do not collapse, but remain intact and are merely deformed. A simple model coupling the Laplace pressure to Darcy’s law correctly estimates both the threshold radius separating these two behaviors, and the rate of large-droplet evacuation. Finally, we use these systems to make novel hierarchical structures.

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Peter J. Lu  |  Harvard University  |  Cambridge, MA 02138 USA |  plu_at_fas.harvard.edu