Evaporation-Induced Crystallization of Surfactants in Sessile Multicomponent Droplets

Yaxing Li, Valentin Salvator, Herman Wijshoff, Michel Versluis, Detlef Lohse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Surfactants have been widely studied and used in controlling droplet evaporation. In this work, we observe and study the crystallization of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) within an evaporating glycerol-water mixture droplet. The crystallization is induced by the preferential evaporation of water, which decreases the solubility of SDS in the mixture. As a consequence, the crystals shield the droplet surface and cease the evaporation. The universality of the evaporation characteristics for a range of droplet sizes is revealed by applying a diffusion model, extended by Raoult's law. To describe the nucleation and growth of the crystals, we employ the 2-dimensional crystallization model of Weinberg [J. Non-Cryst. Solids 1991, 134, 116]. The results of this model compare favorably to our experimental results. Our findings may inspire the community to reconsider the role of high concentration of surfactants in a multicomponent evaporation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7545-7552
Number of pages8
Issue number26
Early online date15 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2020

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