Evaporation-induced Deposition Patterns of Sessile solution and suspension Droplet

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


An experimental bench will be built on the foundation of DSA100TM (Drop Shape Analyzer) equipment to investigate the deposition patterns of drying sessile droplets of solution and suspension. The infrared camera, optical microscope, heating/cooling bath, thin thermocouple measurement as well as vacuum pump an closed evaporation chamber will assist to visualize the interfacial temperature distribution, tracking the particle or solute movement, control and measure the temperature at the substrate and so does the gas pressure. An closed evaporation chamber is designed to efficiently control the environmental conditions during the droplet evaporation. On this basis, a number of experiments can be conducted to research dependency of the self-assembly phenomenon on base fluids, particles and solutes, substrates as well as the environmental condition.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1941445 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Veronika Kubyshkina
Description The first part of my research focused on the behaviour and evaporation of non-spherical pure liquid droplets, as well as nanofluid suspensions, on bespoke surfaces patterned with various microfeatures. Specifics of surface topography that govern droplet shape have been identified, with droplets adopting assorted polygonal shapes. Particle deposition patterns of geometrical nanofluid drops were also fully characterised. The most striking findings documented a unique spreading behaviour of nanofluid droplets, specific to a particular set of experimental parameters. This behaviour has not been previously observed and, as such, it provides important insights that can be harnessed for precise manipulation and control of droplets on solid surfaces.
The subsequent research involved evaporating binary fluid mixtures (fully miscible liquids with different volatilities) on structured surfaces. An intriguing and unreported phenomenon was observed, specifically, spontaneous droplet formation and liquid-liquid separation. The significance of these findings lies in the simplicity and reproducibility of the droplet formation mechanism, distinct from other reported techniques. Through the aid of experimental investigations, the physical mechanisms driving the phenomenon were established. A comprehensive list of the criteria facilitating the phenomenon was also compiled.
Exploitation Route The intrinsic interest of the insights gained from this research, and their wide scientific and industrial applicability, would hopefully inspire other research groups to pursue further investigations of the outlined phenomena, both experimentally and computationally. The novelty of the reported microdroplet behaviour generates many research opportunities to fully understand this uncharted phenomenon, for example, by exploring other experimental conditions that may shine a light on the intricacies of the underlying mechanisms.
On a larger scale, the findings can be harnessed in the emerging multidisciplinary field of droplet-based microfluidic technology. Advances in microfluidics, specifically relating to the integration outside of the laboratory, rely heavily on the current research to provide sophisticated and reliable methods for fluid manipulation and control. The fluid phenomena revealed in this work can help realise the full potential of system miniaturization, for example, in medical diagnostics and for treatment of chemical waste. Additionally, this research could be particularly useful in the liquid-liquid microextraction process or in the food processing industry.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Electronics,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description Careers in academia for undergraduate students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The aim of the presentation was to address undergraduate engineering students, in their first year of university, by giving a first-hand account of the research experience as a PhD student at The University of Edinburgh. The hope was to inspire students to consider pursuing an academic career after completing their engineering degree. The integrative presentation touched upon university life, specifically as a PhD student, and provided a brief overview of the research topics. This was followed by a panel discussion, where students were invited to engage with the speakers, by asking questions about the personal PhD experience, as well as more technical questions regarding specific research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018