Evaporative dewetting of suspensions - theoretical approaches from Kinetic Monte Carlo models to thin film hydrodynamics

Uwe Thiele, Loughborough

After reviewing recent experiments on evaporating and dewetting thin films of suspensions and solutions we focus on their description employing several approaches ranging from microscopic discrete stochastic to mesoscopic continuous deterministic theories [1]. In particular, we study (i) a microscopic kinetic Monte Carlo model [2,3], (ii) a dynamical density functional theory [4] and (iii) a continuous thin film model [5]. Models (i) and (ii) are employed to discuss the formation of polygonal networks, spinodal structures and branched structures. Detailed results are given for the dependency of the observed transverse front instability on material constants and transport coefficients [3]. Finally, we discuss the simple thin film model (iii) encompassing coupled evolution equations for the film thickness profile and mean particle concentration. It is used to discuss the self-pinnning of a contact line related to the 'coffee-stain' effect [6].

  1. for a small review see: U. Thiele et al., J. Phys.-Cond. Mat. 21, 264016 (2009).
  2. E. Rabani, D.R. Reichman, P.L. Geissler, L.E. Brus, Nature 426, 271-274 (2003).
  3. I. Vancea, U. Thiele, E. Pauliac-Vaujour, A. Stannard, C. P. Martin, M.O. Blunt and P. Moriarty, Phys. Rev. E 78, 041601 (2008).
  4. A. J. Archer, M. J. Robbins and U. Thiele, submitted (2009).
  5. L. Frastia, A. J. Archer and U. Thiele, in preparation (2009).
  6. R. D. Deegan, Phys. Rev. E 61, 475-485 (2000).