We study the hydrodynamics of dip coating from a suspension and report a mechanism for colloidal assembly and pattern formation on smooth substrates. Below a critical withdrawal speed where the coating film is thinner than the particle diameter, capillary forces induced by deformation of the free surface prevent the convective transport of single particles through the meniscus beneath the film. Capillary-induced forces are balanced by hydrodynamic drag only after a minimum number of particles assemble within the meniscus. The particle assembly can thus enter the thin film where it moves at nearly the withdrawal speed and rapidly separates from the next assembly. The interplay between hydrodynamic and capillary forces produces periodic and regular structures below a critical ratio Ca2/3/√Bo<0.7, where Ca and Bo are the capillary and Bond numbers, respectively. An analytical model and numerical simulations are presented for the case of two-dimensional flow with circular particles in suspension. The hydrodynamically driven assembly documented here is consistent with stripe pattern formations observed experimentally in dip coating.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy