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How do complex drops evaporate? (ASKOUNISAU19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The evaporation of complex drops (drops containing particles or polymers) is ubiquitous in our lives from the drying of a spilled coffee drop [1], which gives rise to the name: coffee-stain effect, to the drying of rain drops but it also extends to areas such as inkjet printing and biomedical diagnosis [2]. Nonetheless, the exact dynamics remain rather elusive especially when considering the various surface-drop interactions, particle shape [3] and influence of ambient conditions across different scales [4]. The aim of this project is to better understand the underlying parameters of complex drop evaporation with the ultimate goal to control the coffee-stain effect. The outcomes will inform a new generation of surface patterning techniques from 3D printing to microfluidics and semiconductors printing.

To this end, the following parameters will be investigated:

1. Interparticle interactions and how they affect the final deposit.
2. How the rheological behaviour of the liquid influences the deposits.
3. How surface features affect final deposits.
4. The relationship between ambient pressure and temperature on the deposits.

The project is mainly experimental in nature involving wet chemistry for dispersions preparation and surface modification, state-of-the-art drop shape analysis (including Matlab coding for kinetics estimation) for evaporation studies and atomic force and scanning electron microscopies (AFM and SEM) for coffee-ring/deposit and surface characterisation.

Candidates with at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Materials Science or a related discipline will be considered.
More information on the supervisor can be found at https://people.uea.ac.uk/en/persons/a-askounis.
Type of programme: PhD
Start date of project: October 19. The project may be also be available to start in January 2020, but this should be discussed with the primary supervisor in the first instance.
The mode of study: Full time

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

References

1. Deegan, R.D. et al. Capillary flow as the cause of ring stains from dried liquid drops. Nature 389, 827–829 (1997).
2. AskounisA. et al., “Biodrop” Evaporation and Ring-Stain Deposits: The Significance of DNA Length. Langmuir 32, 4361-4369 (2016)
3. Askounis A. et al., Effect of particle geometry on triple line motion of nano-fluid drops and deposit nano-structuring. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science 222, 44-57 (2015).
4. Askounis A. et al., The effect of evaporation kinetics on nanoparticle structuring within contact line deposits of volatile drops. Colloids and Surfaces A 441, 855-866 (2014)

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