When a colloidal droplet is deposited on a solid substrate at ambient condition, it will experience the processes of wetting and drying spontaneously. These ostensibly simple and ubiquitous processes involve numerous physics: droplet spreading and wetting, three-phase contact line motion, flow fields inside droplets, and mass transportation within droplets during drying. Meanwhile, the continuous evaporation of liquid produces inter- and/or intra-molecular interactions among suspended materials and builds up the internal stress within droplets. After drying, interesting and complex desiccation patterns form in the dried droplets. These desiccation patterns are believed to have wide applications, e.g., medical diagnosis. However, many potential applications are limited by the current understanding of wetting and drying of colloidal droplets. This chapter focuses on the complex physics associated with these processes and the pattern formation in the dried colloidal droplets. Moreover, potential applications of these desiccation patterns and prospective works of wetting and drying of the colloidal droplets are outlined in this chapter.
Part of the book: Advances in Colloid Science