Langmuir, Vol.36, No.32, 9562-9570, 2020
Taming the Coffee Ring Effect: Enhanced Thermal Control as a Method for Thin-Film Nanopatterning
Predicting and controlling a droplet's behavior on surfaces is very complex due to several factors affecting its nature. These factors play a crucial role in colloidal material deposition and related solution-based manufacturing methods such as printing. A better understanding of the processes governing the droplet in the picoliter regime is needed to help develop novel thin-film manufacturing methods and improve the current ones. This study introduces the substrate temperature as a method to control the droplet's behavior during inkjet printing, especially the coffee-ring phenomena, at an unprecedented temperature range (25-250 degrees C). To explain the particular behavior of the droplet, this research associates the creation of specific coffee-ring micro/nanostructures at elevated temperatures with the Leidenfrost effect that is responsible for creating a vapor pocket under the drying drop. Herein, we combine experimental data and numerical methods to explain the drying dynamic of the picoliter-size droplet on the substrate at elevated temperatures. The achieved results indicate that the coffee-ring effect is correlated with the heat-transfer changes caused by the Leidenfrost effect and can be controlled and used to produce micro/nanostructured thin films without additional processing steps.