Contact Line Dynamics during the Evaporation of Extended Colloidal Thin Films: Influence of Liquid Polarity and Particle Size

Exercising control over the evaporation of colloidal suspensions is pivotal to modulate the coating characteristics for specific uses, wherein the interactions among the liquid, the particles, and the substrate control the process. In the present study, the contact line dynamics of a receding colloidal liquid film consisting of particles of distinctly different sizes (nominal diameters 0.055 and 1 μm and surface unmodified) during evaporation is analyzed. The role of the liquid polarity is also investigated by replacing the polar liquid (water) with a relatively nonpolar liquid (isopropyl alcohol) in the colloidal suspension. The characteristics of the evaporating receding meniscus, namely, the film thickness and the curvature are experimentally evaluated using an image-analyzing interferometry technique. The experimental results are assessed in conjunction with the augmented Young–Laplace equation, highlighting the roles of the relevant components of the disjoining pressure and the polarity of the liquid involved in the colloidal suspension.