In this chapter, we review the applications of optical coherence tomography (OCT) on the nondestructive characterization of the drying processes of colloidal droplets and latex coatings. Employing time-lapse, high-speed imaging, OCT can be used to monitor the dynamic process of drying colloidal droplets. With the aid of high-scattering, micron-sized tracer particles, fluid flows have been captured; phase boundaries are also visible in liquid crystal droplets; and the speckle contrast analysis differentiates the dynamics of particles, showing the packing process and the coffee ring phenomenon. In a waterborne latex coat, time-lapse OCT imaging reveals spatial changes of microstructures, i.e., detachment of latex, cracks, and shear bands; with speckle contrast analysis, 1D and 2D particles’ packing process that is initiated from latex/air interface can also be monitored over time. OCT can serve as an experimental platform for fundamental studies of drying colloidal systems. In the future, OCT can also be employed as an in-line quality control tool of polymer coatings and paints for industrial applications.
Part of the book: Optical Coherence Tomography and Its Non-medical Applications