Prediction and active control of the spatial distribution of particulate deposits obtained from sessile droplet evaporation are vital in printing, nanostructure assembly, biotechnology, and other applications that require localized deposits. This Letter presents surface wettability-based localization of evaporation-driven particulate deposition and the effect of superhydrophobic surface morphology on the distribution of deposits. Sessile water droplets containing suspended latex particles are evaporated on non-wetting textured surfaces with varying microstructure geometry at ambient conditions. The droplets are visualized throughout the evaporation process to track the temporal evolution of contact radius and apparent contact angle. The resulting particle deposits on the substrates are quantitatively characterized. The experimental results show that superhydrophobic surfaces suppress contact-line deposition during droplet evaporation, thereby providing an effective means of localizing the deposition of suspended particles. A correlation between deposit size and surface morphology, explained in terms of the interface pressure balance at the transition between wetting states, reveals an optimum surface morphology for minimizing the deposit coverage area.

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M. Dicuangco, S. Dash, J. A. Weibel, and S. V. Garimella, “Effect of Superhydrophobic Surface Morphology on Evaporative Deposition Patterns,” Applied Physics Letters Vol. 104, 201604, 2014.