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Evaporation, diffusion and self-assembly at drying interfaces

Roger, Kevin and Sparr, Emma and Wennerström, Håkan Evaporation, diffusion and self-assembly at drying interfaces. (2018) Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (15). 10430-10438. ISSN 1463-9076

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8cp00305j

Abstract

Water evaporation from complex aqueous solutions leads to the build-up of structure and composition gradients at their interface with air. We recently introduced an experimental setup for quantitatively studying such gradients and discussed how structure formation can lead to a self-regulation mechanism for controlling water evaporation through self-assembly. Here, we provide a detailed theoretical analysis using an advection/diffusion transport equation that takes into account thermodynamically non-ideal conditions and we directly relate the theoretical description to quantitative experimental data. We derive that the concentration profile develops according to a general square root of time scaling law, which fully agrees with experimental observations. The evaporation rate notably decreases with time as t????1/2, which shows that diffusion in the liquid phase is the rate limiting step for this system, in contrast to pure water evaporation. For the particular binary system that was investigated experimentally, which is composed of water and a sugar-based surfactant (a-dodecylmaltoside), the interfacial layer consists in a sequence of liquid crystalline phases of different mesostructures. We extract values for mutual diffusion coefficients of lamellar, hexagonal and micellar cubic phases, which are consistent with previously reported values and simple models. We thus provide a method to estimate the transport properties of oriented mesophases. The macroscopic humidity-independence of the evaporation rate up to 85% relative humidities is shown to result from both an extremely low mutual diffusion coefficient and the large range of water activities corresponding to relative humidities below 85%, at which the lamellar phase exists. Such a humidity self-regulation mechanism is expected for a large variety of complex system.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.
HAL Id:hal-02396601
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Lund University (SWEDEN)
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Agence Nationale de la Recherche - ANR
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Deposited On:06 Dec 2019 09:00

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