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We investigate the influence of particle shape on the bending rigidity of colloidal monolayer membranes (CMMs) and on evaporative processes associated with these membranes. Aqueous suspensions of colloidal particles are confined between glass plates and allowed to evaporate. Confinement creates ribbonlike air-water interfaces and facilitates measurement and characterization of CMM geometry during drying. Interestingly, interfacial buckling events occur during evaporation. Extension of the description of buckled elastic membranes to our quasi-2D geometry enables the determination of the ratio of CMM bending rigidity to its Young’s modulus. Bending rigidity increases with increasing particle anisotropy, and particle deposition during evaporation is strongly affected by membrane elastic properties. During drying, spheres are deposited heterogeneously, but ellipsoids are not. Apparently, increased bending rigidity reduces contact line bending and pinning and induces uniform deposition of ellipsoids. Surprisingly, suspensions of spheres doped with a small number of ellipsoids are also deposited uniformly.
Date Posted: 28 June 2012
This document has been peer reviewed.